NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Ukraine: There is no room for a settlement

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Ukraine: There is no room for a settlement

Was NATO Chief of Staff Stjean Jensen’s controversial move a cunning “test balloon”? On Thursday, Jens Stoltenberg tried to put an end to the rumours: – The NATO chief said that NATO will continue to support Ukraine, adding that it is “very possible” that Ukraine will acquire combat aircraft.

Harald Stangel interviewed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The short version

On Thursday morning, Harald Stangel interviewed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Arendal. The former editor of Aftenposten is now Chairman of the Program Committee of Aftenposten newspaper Arendal WeekArendal WeekArendalsuka is a Norwegian political festival held in Arendal every summer. Arendal Week was added to the month of August and became an important meeting place on a national level. Top politicians, business leaders and prominent debaters come together to discuss current societal problems. It has gradually become more common for Norwegian election campaigns to start in connection with Arendal Week. Source: SNL.

The topic revolved around the state of security policy in Europe and the world – and the violent war of aggression that Russia is waging against Ukraine.

Stoltenberg and Stangel began by talking about how Stoltenberg took over as Secretary-General nearly ten years ago. This came at a time when the state of security policy in Europe and the Middle East was on the verge of escalation.

-The world has changed. When I joined NATO, there was already a war in Ukraine. Stoltenberg said that ISIS took control of large parts of Syria and Iraq.

– What do you wish you knew in October 2014 that you know today? Stangel asked.

– Duration of misery. Always have hope that it will pass. But it got worse, Stoltenberg answers. He highlighted Russian aggression towards Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Since then, NATO has been strengthened, including with a new command structure, more operational forces, and more materiel. As a result, NATO was relatively well prepared when Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Stoltenberg noted.

Controversial idea

The interview takes place two days after a panel discussion in Arendal in which Stoltenberg’s chief of staff Stjan Jensen participated. There, Jensen came up with a controversial plan.

He said that one should have some ideas about what kind of situation Ukraine will be in when Russia’s bloody war of aggression against the country ends. He pointed out that one of the proposals that was put forward was for Ukraine to cede its territory to Russia and become a member of NATO.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrives at Arendal Week on Thursday.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrives at Arendal Week on Thursday.

– I’m not saying it has to be like this. But it may be a possible solution, Jensen said.

Ukraine responded strongly to Stian Jensen’s move. They described the Chief of Staff’s proposal as unacceptable. In Russia, this has been interpreted as the West not being as firmly behind Ukraine as NATO, the United States and other Western countries would like to give the impression.

It has been speculated whether this was just a pretext, or a kind of “test balloon” on NATO’s part – a test to see what the reactions would be.

International news article

The issue is discussed in major international media. Among other things Washington Post And British Watchman. Later, Stian Jensen admitted that he should have phrased himself differently.

– My statement on this matter was part of a larger discussion about possible future scenarios in Ukraine. I shouldn’t say it that way. Jensen added that it was a mistake VG.

Stoltenberg on Thursday denied that it was a “test balloon.”

– Our position, NATO’s position, has not changed. This was decided at the summit held in July. Stoltenberg said that there is clear support for defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty militarily.

He added that only Ukrainians can decide when the conditions for negotiations are met.

Stoltenberg stressed that Ukraine’s power at the negotiating table will be strengthened by the way things are going on the battlefield.

– The decisive thing is that NATO will continue to support Ukraine.

black and white

Regarding Ukraine, there is no room for compromise, Stoltenberg also said:

“Sometimes it’s black and white,” Stoltenberg said.

He compared the Russian invasion on February 24 last year to Germany’s invasion of Norway during World War II. He also rejected the West’s reluctance to support Ukraine:

– I have no doubt that they think that way in Russia. They must wait for us. “We have to give up,” Stoltenberg said. He highlighted two reasons why he believes this is wrong:

  1. Russia has already underestimated whether and to what extent the West is willing to support Ukraine.
  2. The West bears responsibility for supporting Ukraine. This is a choice that must be made by politicians and the people of Western countries:

“We must prove that the resilience of democracies is stronger than authoritarian regimes,” Stoltenberg said.

NATO Chief of Staff Stjean Jensen was in the room on Thursday during the event with Jens Stoltenberg and Harald Stangel during Arendal Week.

NATO Chief of Staff Stjean Jensen was in the room on Thursday during the event with Jens Stoltenberg and Harald Stangel during Arendal Week.

It is “very possible” that Ukraine will acquire fighter jets

Stangel and Stoltenberg also addressed the topic of cluster munitions. Stoltenberg was prime minister when Norway joined the Cluster Munitions Convention, which attempted to secure an international ban on the munitions.

But now, the United States has given this controversial weapon, which could pose a great danger to civilians, to Ukraine. Stoltenberg admitted that this was a “brutal dilemma.”

Long-range guns and tanks were also used.

-Is there a limit? Stangel asked.

Stoltenberg did not directly answer the question. But he pointed out that the focus has gradually been on providing weapons to Ukraine that could contribute to major offensive operations.

– Will there be fighter planes?

“It is quite possible,” said Stoltenberg.

He added that Ukrainian fighter pilots have begun training on Western combat aircraft. This could facilitate Ukraine’s acquisition of combat aircraft from NATO countries in due course.

The Ukrainians have long hoped that Western fighter jets would give them an advantage in attack. But they have now given up hope that they will be able to get any planes before the end of the year Reuters.

Stoltenberg did not answer whether there was a limit to the type of weapons NATO wanted to provide to Ukraine.

Stoltenberg did not answer whether there was a limit to the type of weapons NATO wanted to provide to Ukraine.

Aware of the nuclear threat

But the Secretary-General stressed that NATO is trying to avoid war between Russia and NATO. This is done through the presence of forces in the eastern alliance, increased readiness and support for Ukraine. The goal is to deter Russia. Stoltenberg believes that NATO succeeded in this.

Stoltenberg was also asked whether there was reason to fear that the conflict could develop into a nuclear war.

“We should not be afraid, but we should prove,” Stoltenberg answered. The Secretary-General added that the West should not be deterred from helping Ukraine by Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons.

Stoltenberg emphasized: – We have not witnessed any changes in their nuclear forces that would prompt us to change our forces and the way we arrange them.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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