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Stoltenberg: Kremlin's actions indicate Russia's plans to resume attack on Ukraine

The invitation to negotiations by Russia is just an attempt to gain time.

Stoltenberg: Kremlin's actions indicate Russia's plans to resume attack on Ukraine
Photo: EPA/UPG

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasizes that the Kremlin's actions indicate Russia's plans to resume the offensive against Ukraine, and the invitation to negotiations is only an attempt to gain time for preparation. NATO Secretary General reminded that Russia had mobilized about 200,000 new people in recent months, and the events on the battlefield show that the leadership does not count the losses. In parallel, Moscow is trying to agree on weapons and ammunition with other authoritarian allies, especially Iran, the European Pravda reports citing Stoltenberg's column in the Financial Times. 

“Russia hopes to freeze the war to allow its forces to regroup, rearm and try to launch a renewed offensive. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has proposed to Russia to start withdrawing troops by Christmas as a step to end the conflict, but Moscow has bluntly rejected this. It was Putin who started the war. He can end it today by getting out of Ukraine. Right now, he shows no signs that he is seeking real peace,” the Secretary-General noted.

He added that most wars sooner or later end in negotiations, and Zelenskyy has already set out his peace formula.

“But let us not forget that what happens at the negotiating table is inextricably linked with what happens on the battlefield. We must continue to support Ukraine so that it can prevail as a sovereign, independent state in Europe. If Putin prevails in Ukraine, the message to Russia — and to other authoritarian regimes — will be that force will get them what they want. This would be a catastrophe for Ukraine. But it would also make the whole world more dangerous, and all of us more vulnerable,” Stoltenberg explains.

He noted that it is in the interests of the West to maintain support for Ukraine this winter and for as long as it takes.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's raising of the peace formula during his visit to Washington follows Kyiv's recent discussion of a 10-point peace plan. According to Ukrainian and European diplomats, the president's team is now fleshing out the plan and preparing to present its ideas around the anniversary of the full-scale invasion on 24 February.

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