Russia’s war in Ukraine could go on for years and the effort requires Western support, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview published Sunday by German publication Bild.
“We have to prepare for the fact that it could take years,” he said.
International leaders have repeatedly shown their support for Ukraine in recent days, including recommending the country to join the European Union. The Group of Seven has pledged to support Ukraine “for as long as necessary,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview with the German news agency dpa.
He said he wants to discuss the matter with other G-7 leaders at a meeting scheduled this week, saying they intend to disrupt Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans.
“Putin obviously hopes that everything will be okay once he has enough land and the international community will return to business as usual,” said Scholz. “This is an illusion.”
Additionally, on a second surprise visit since the war began, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Kiev on Friday to offer ongoing aid and military training.
JUNE 18 SUMMARY:900 Ukrainian children killed or injured since the start of the war; Zelenskyy visits the troops
►Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited frontline troops and health workers in southern Ukraine on Saturday on a trip to the Mykolaiv and Odesa regions.
►A famous Ukrainian doctor whose footage was smuggled out of the besieged city of Mariupol by an Associated Press team was released by Russian forces on Friday, three months after being captured on the streets of the city.
CAUGHT:Two US Army veterans felt compelled to fight Russia. They were captured in Ukraine.
Germany’s economy minister said on Sunday that the country will limit the use of natural gas for electricity generation amid concerns over possible shortages caused by the cut in supplies from Russia. Robert Habeck said Germany will try to compensate for the move by increasing the burning of coal, a more polluting fossil fuel.
“It is bitter, but in this situation it is simply necessary to reduce gas consumption,” said Habeck, a member of the environmentalist party of the Greens.
Russian gas company Gazprom announced last week that it was drastically cutting supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for technical reasons. Habeck said the decision appeared to be politically motivated.
Germany, which has long relied heavily on energy imports from Russia, has begun to scale back significantly due to the war in Ukraine.
– Associated Press
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Bild that Western support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia must remain strong.
“We must not give up on supporting Ukraine,” he said. “Even though the costs are high, not only for military support, but also for rising energy and food prices. But this is not comparable to the price that Ukrainians have to pay every day with many lives. “
Stoltenberg pointed out that while NATO supports Ukraine with stronger weapons and defenses on its eastern flank, the troops will not set foot in Ukraine.
He also said a nuclear attack seems unlikely. “We don’t see a higher level of readiness in Russian nuclear forces,” Stoltenberg said.
The British Defense Ministry’s Sunday update on the war in Ukraine indicated that morale is dropping on both sides.
“Ukrainian forces have probably suffered desertions in recent weeks, however, Russian morale is very likely to remain particularly troubled,” tweeted the ministry. “Cases continue to occur of entire Russian units refusing orders and armed clashes between officers and their troops.”
On the Russian side, morale is depressed due to poor leadership and few opportunities for soldiers to abandon combat units, the ministry said.
“Many Russian personnel from all ranks are also likely to remain confused about the war’s objectives,” he said. “The moral problems in the Russian forces are probably so significant that they limit Russia’s ability to achieve operational goals.”
The executive arm of the European Union recommended on Friday putting Ukraine on the path to membership, a symbolic push for a country that repels a Russian assault that is killing civilians, razing cities and threatening its very survival.
The possibility of EU membership, created to safeguard peace on the continent and serve as a model for the rule of law and prosperity, fulfills a wish of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his Western-looking citizens.
The European Commission’s recommendation that Ukraine become a candidate for membership will be discussed by the leaders of the 27-nation bloc next week in Brussels. The war has increased pressure on EU governments to speed up Ukraine’s candidacy, but the process should take years and EU members remain divided over how quickly and fully to welcome new members.
Contribution: Associated Press