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NATO chief reveals ‘greatest’ risk for bloc

A Russian victory in Ukraine would change the global security system, Jens Stoltenberg has said

Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called a Russian victory in the Ukraine conflict the biggest risk for the US-led military bloc and urged member states to bolster aid to Kiev.

Speaking on Tuesday at a summit in Washington, where NATO leaders gathered to mark the 75th anniversary of the organization, Stoltenberg claimed that the conflict between Moscow and Kiev would shape the global security system for the decades to come.

“The biggest cost and the greatest risk will be if Russia wins in Ukraine; we cannot let that happen,” Stoltenberg stated.

According to him, Russia’s victory would “embolden” other opponents of the military bloc, including Iran, North Korea, and China, who support Moscow and “want NATO to fail.”

While casting the stakes of the Ukraine conflict in historic terms, Stoltenberg, however, chose not to mention Kiev’s prospects for joining NATO.

Ukraine wants to be a member and maintains that its fight with Russia gives it the right to fast-track accession. But member states and NATO’s leadership have said the country will not join while hostilities continue. Moscow named Ukraine’s desire to be in NATO as one of the key reasons for the start of the conflict in 2022.

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NATO makes ‘historic’ Ukraine air defense pledge

Addressing NATO summit attendees, US President Joe Biden said that Washington and other bloc members intend to provide Kiev with “dozens” of additional tactical air-defense systems in the coming months.

The US, Germany, and Romania will donate a new Patriot battery each, while the Netherlands “and other partners” will supply components to “enable the operation of an additional Patriot battery,” according to a statement signed by several NATO members and Ukraine. Italy has pledged to deliver an additional SAMP-T system.

Russia has maintained that the deliveries of Western weapons will lead to more escalation, but will ultimately fail to stop the Russian military from achieving its aims in the conflict.

On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow would pay “maximum attention” to whatever decisions are announced at the NATO summit.

He reiterated that the bloc, which has repeatedly declared its intent to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield, “is directly involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Ukraine.”

 

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