The coming months will be difficult. Speaking at a press meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Woebke Hoekstra and Defense Minister Kajsa Olongren, Stoltenberg said Putin’s goal is to leave cold and dark Ukraine this winter. olungren.
Stoltenberg warned against underestimating Russia’s military capabilities after Ukraine regained control of Kherson.
– great capabilities
Up to 30,000 Russian soldiers are scheduled to withdraw from the city of Kherson and elsewhere on the western bank of the Dnipro River on Monday.
We must not make the mistake of underestimating Russia. Russian military forces have great capabilities and a large number of soldiers, and Russia has shown its willingness to bear heavy losses, says Stoltenberg.
He also salutes the Ukrainian forces.
Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson shows the incredible courage of the Ukrainian armed forces, but it also shows our continued support for Ukraine.
Let Ukraine decide
Stoltenberg stresses that it is up to Ukraine to decide when to begin peace negotiations with Russia.
– We will not sit in Brussels or in other NATO capitals and decide what is acceptable for Ukraine. What we will do is maximize the possibility that Ukraine will achieve an acceptable outcome around the negotiating table. The way we do this, says Stoltenberg, is by strengthening their position on the battlefield.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said that Ukraine is ready to enter into what he calls a just peace, provided that Russia respects Ukraine’s borders. Zelensky also demands the complete withdrawal of Russian forces.