The United States and NATO affirm that Ukraine is gaining ground with its counteroffensive, in a war that, they warn, will go on for a long time. “They are fighting for their country,” argues US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on his behalf: “The war in Ukraine is entering a critical phase. Ukrainian forces have been able to stop Moscow’s offensive in Donbas and strike back behind Russian lines and recapture territory. In the last few days alone, we have seen further progress both in the south, in Kherson, and in the east, in the Kharkiv region. This shows the courage and determination of the Ukrainian forces. And that our support makes a difference every day on the battlefield.”
“Our unity and solidarity will be tested in the coming months”, Stoltenberg acknowledged, “with the pressure on energy supplies and the increase in the cost of living caused by the Russian war. But the price we pay is measured in money. While the price Ukrainians pay is measured in lives. Lost lives, every day. And all of us will pay a much higher price if Russia and other authoritarian regimes see their aggression rewarded. If Russia stops fighting, there will be peace. If Ukraine stops fighting, she will cease to exist as an independent nation.”
The Norwegian has issued a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin: “We are significantly improving our presence in the East, putting hundreds of thousands of troops at immediate disposal, supported by significant air and naval forces, and continuing to invest in cutting-edge capabilities. All of this makes it clear that our commitment to Article 5 is unwavering. [el mecanismo de defensa automática si un miembro de la OTAN es atacado]”.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has added: “What we are seeing is that the counteroffensive that Ukraine has launched with the strong assistance and support of many other countries is already underway. It’s early days, but it’s demonstrable that he’s making real progress. Ukraine is proceeding very deliberately with a solid plan and, more importantly, thanks to the resources that many of us are providing. Why do I have absolute confidence in the success of the Ukrainians in pushing back Russian aggression, whether in the northeast, Donbass or in the south? For a simple and basic reason: this is the homeland of Ukraine, not Russia. People are fighting for their homeland, they are fighting for their future.”
Stoltenberg added: “By ensuring that Russia does not win in Ukraine, we are increasing our own security and strengthening NATO by showing that we do not allow such behavior near our own borders. Therefore, the use of these weapons actually helps to increase our own security and reduces the risk of any aggressive action by Russia against NATO-allied countries.”
The Secretary General of NATO, however, has warned that the war is going to take a long time: “There is progress on the ground in Ukraine. But we have to be prepared for the long term. We are in close contact with the defense industry, with the capitals. We have established structures here in NATO on defense planning, on capabilities, to make sure that we are now increasing production, replenishing stocks, so that we can continue to support Ukraine and ensure that we have the weapons, ammunition and capabilities for our own deterrence and defense.”