Illustration photo – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, 18 February 2023.
Tallinn/Brussels – Russian President Vladimir Putin is “preparing for more war” and wants a Europe in which can Russia dictate what its neighbors should do. According to the AP agency, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this today during his visit to Tallinn, where he was joined by European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen on the occasion of Estonia's Independence Day.
The head of the EC stated that Putin did not achieve any of his strategic goals with his invasion and Russia is becoming more and more isolated. According to the AP, Von der Leyen drew attention to Thursday's UN General Assembly vote, in which 141 countries supported a new resolution that again called on Moscow to end hostilities in Ukraine and withdraw its forces.
Stoltenberg also said he invited Ukrainian of President Volodymyr Zelensky to the July summit of the North Atlantic Alliance, which will be held in Lithuania.
To the Chinese proposal regarding the end of the war, which was launched by Russia in Ukraine exactly one year ago, the head of NATO reacted with restraint and declared that Beijing is not very trustworthy as a mediator, Reuters wrote. “China does not have much credibility because it was not able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. According to von der Leyen, Beijing did not present a peace plan, but certain principles. Both drew attention to the friendly relations between Beijing and Moscow.
On the first anniversary of the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine, China called for a ceasefire and the start of peace talks, the agencies reported. It was part of the Chinese government's twelve-point plan to end the war.
Meanwhile, NATO states confirmed their support for Ukraine through today's North Atlantic Council statement on the first anniversary of the invasion. “As allies, we affirm our solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine in the heroic defense of our nation, our country and our common values,” the alliance's top body said. “We reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” NATO said. It emphasized that Russia bears full responsibility for the war and flagrant violations of international law and the UN Charter, and that Russian war crimes and other atrocities must not go unpunished.
Member countries also underlined the validity of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which obliges them to help allies in case of armed attack. “NATO is stronger and more united than ever before,” said the statement, which was joined by Sweden and Finland, which are seeking to join the alliance.