NATO Chief: "If Putin Wins, It Will Be Dangerous For All Of Us"
Russia "is preparing for new military offensives," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated on Wednesday at the State Department, TURAN's U.S. correspondent reports.
Stoltenberg was in Washington on Wednesday to hold meetings with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, as well as White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The NATO leader’s trip came a little over two weeks ahead of Russia’s one-year anniversary of its war in Ukraine.
"Today, we discussed the situation in Ukraine," he told reporters during a joint press conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"... If Putin wins, it will be a tragedy for Ukraine, but it will also be dangerous for all of us," Stoltenberg said.
He went on to elaborate: "... It will send a clear message not just to Putin but also to other authoritarian regimes that when they use force, they can achieve their goals. That will make the world more dangerous, and all of us more vulnerable."
Per Stoltenberg, Beijing is watching closely and learning lessons that may influence its future decisions. "So, what happens in Europe today could happen in Asia tomorrow," he said, explaining that China is substantially building up its military forces, including nuclear weapons without any transparency.
China “is attempting to assert control over the South China Sea and threatening Taiwan, trying to take control of critical infrastructure, including in NATO countries, repressing its own citizens and tramping on human rights, and deepening its strategic partnership with Moscow. So, NATO Allies had real concerns which we discussed today,” he said.
In this more dangerous and more competitive world, "we must continue to strengthen our deterrence and defense, and further increase defense spending; and that is what we are doing," Stoltenberg concluded.
Blinken, in his turn, quoted President Zelenskyy as saying that diplomacy is the only way to definitively end Russia’s war of aggression and to create a path to peace that is both just and durable. However, he added, Putin “has no genuine interest in diplomacy right now.”
He went on to add, "Here’s what [Putin] said just a few weeks ago: Unless and until Ukraine accepts “the new territorial realities” – in quotation marks – there is nothing to even talk about. In other words, Ukraine and the world must somehow acquiesce to President Putin’s land grab. That should be a non-starter for every country in the world that cares about the UN charter, and preserving international peace and security."
The best way to hasten prospects for real diplomacy is "to keep tilting the battlefield in Ukraine’s favor," as Blinken put it. "This will help ensure that Ukraine has the strongest possible hand to play at a negotiating table when one emerges."
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