Saturday, February 24

NATO leaders stage their unity in front of Putin

“President Putin has made a great mistake, which is launching a war against an independent sovereign nation”, he warned upon his arrival at the extraordinary summit of the NATO its general secretary Jens Stoltenberg. This first international meeting in Brussels will result in the commitment of the 30 allied countries to double the number of multinational battalions deployed on the eastern flank of the Alliance – in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic – which will be added to those of the three baltic republics and Poland. “(With the war on Ukraine) we are facing the most serious security crisis in a generation and NATO has to respond. Therefore, we have to restore our long-term defense and deterrence,” said the Norwegian leader about a more permanent reinforcement in the east.

From the meeting of NATO leaders, in which the US president also participates Joe Bidenthere will also be a commitment to continue providing Ukraine with advanced air defense systems, anti-tank weapons, ammunition and fuel, although Stoltenberg has made it clear again that they will not send troops on the ground or aircraft. Doing so would mean, in his opinion, intensifying the conflict and expanding the war beyond the Ukrainian borders.

“declare a no fly zone over Ukraine means that we have to impose it, and imposing a no-fly zone means that we have to massively attack Russian air defense systems in Russiaon Belarus and in the Ukraine, and also be prepared to shoot down Russian planes. The risk of a total war between NATO and Russia would be very high and that would cause more deaths and more destruction”, he has repeated before one of the recurring demands of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskywho will participate in the meeting by videoconference.

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Possible use of chemical weapons

Regarding a possible use of weapons chemical or biological in the Ukraine war, NATO’s top official has warned that it would fundamentally change the nature of the conflict, would be a flagrant violation of international law and would have serious widespread consequences. “The seriousness of the use of chemical weapons is made even more evident by knowing that there is always a risk of contamination, since chemical agents are spread over larger areas. It would be a catastrophe for the people of Ukraine but we could also see the spread of chemical agents on NATO territory”, he admitted without clarifying whether it would be a red line that would activate the involvement of the Alliance. “I am not going to speculate” but “NATO is always prepared to defend, protect and react to any type of attack on an allied country”, he declared.

“I personally don’t think that Russian troops will deliberately use chemical weapons for tactical reasons because this would not be very smart, it would be shooting themselves in the foot,” says the Slovenian Prime Minister, Janez Janssa, one of the four European leaders who traveled to kyiv a week ago to support Zelensky. But “if they use chemical weapons there will be serious consequences”, the Belgian Prime Minister responded, Alexander de Croo. Use or not use chemical or biological weapons against Ukraine, in the opinion of the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, “Vladimir Putin has already crossed the red line of barbarism.” And the result is that “nobody can feel safe in Europe, including those countries that are far from the borders of Russia. It is a challenge for the entire region”, declared the Lithuanian president, Nauseda Gypsies.

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more defense spending

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Particularly for a country like Lithuania, a country that is in a kind of “sandwich” between Belarus and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. A situation that places them in a situation of weakness, particularly in the face of an aggression that has completely altered the security architecture. “This is a good opportunity to send a signal to the aggressor, Russia. To Ukraine, that we are ready to give the necessary military assistance to make aggression against Russia more painful. And I also signal to the allies”, he said upon arrival at the meeting, also confirming that his country will raise defense spending to 2.5% of GDP this year and to 3% from next.

“We have to do more and therefore we have to invest more and now there is a sense of urgency so I hope that leaders will accelerate investments,” Stoltenberg said. “We have to redouble our efforts. Putin cannot win this war ”, the Estonian Prime Minister added to his arrival, Kaja Kallas. The meeting will also send a message to China asking Beijing to condemn the Russian invasion and not provide military aid to Putin. “We are going to advocate for China to have a constructive role in this war that nobody wants, except for one person who is Vladimir Putin”, said the Spanish president, Pedro Sanchez, upon arrival at the meeting. The socialist leader has indicated that the first thing must be to stop the war, launch a message of solidarity with Ukraine and study how to increase the “deterrence” capacities and how to finance them.

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