Thursday, March 23

War in Ukraine | Stoltenberg: “I am afraid we will see more examples of atrocities”

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putinhas not given up his ambitions in Ukraine. The Russian troops may have left the kyiv area and are on the move, but the objective is not to leave the country but regroup, rearm and resupply to throw a “big offensive” in the Donbas region and create a land bridge to occupied Crimea. It is the scenario with which the Atlantic Alliance works, whose secretary general, Jens Stoltenberghas condemned what happened in Bucha and has warned that “we will see more examples of the murder, atrocities and massacres of civilians that are war crimes”, he explained during an appearance prior to the Foreign Ministerial meeting held this Wednesday and Thursday by the 30 allied countries.

“I am afraid that we will see more. I think we will see more examples of the killing of civilians and more examples of atrocities. We have not seen everything that has happened because Russia still controls most of these territories. But when they withdraw the troops and the Ukrainian troops take control, I’m afraid we’ll see more massacresplus atrocities and more examples of war crimes“, the Norwegian politician has admitted, stressing the importance of an in-depth international investigation by the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to gather evidence and that “all those responsible for these atrocities are brought to justice.”

Meanwhile, he considers that the next few weeks will be crucial in the war launched by Putin. “Moscow is not giving up its ambitions in Ukraine. Now we see a significant movement of troops away from kyiv. To regroup, rearm and resupply. They are shifting their focus to the east” and “in the coming weeks, we expect a further Russian offensive in the eastern and southern Ukraine to try to take all of Donbas and create a land bridge to occupied Crimea”. A change in strategy that confirms Putin’s failed attempt to take the capital and reposition himself.

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Priority: rearm Ukraine

That is why the NATO foreign ministers will focus the meeting, which will last two days and will include several work sessions in which representatives of Sweden, Finland, Georgia, Ukraine, New Zealand, Austria or Korea as well as the head of European diplomacy, Joseph Borrellin continuing to support kyiv and guaranteeing humanitarian aid, financial assistance and access to anti tank weapons, air defense systems, missiles, fuel, ammunition and everything that helps him fight against the “Russian invading forces”, he has said without going into operational details. “It’s about high-end weapon systems, but it’s also about the logistics and supplies that are needed to carry out these kinds of large-scale operations,” she explained. All this with one goal: to rearm the Ukrainian forces so that they continue “inflicting losses” on the Russian troops.

What will not be, Stoltenberg has reiterated, are NATO troops in Ukraine. “The allies agree that we should not send NATO troops to Ukraine or planes into Ukrainian airspace and this is because we have a responsibility to prevent a war between Russia and NATO that causes more deaths, destruction and more dangerous”, has insisted, reiterating the responsibility for prevent the conflict from spreading to allied countries. “If this turns into an all-out war between a nuclear powerRussia, and NATO, then we will see even more suffering, even more destruction“, he recalled.

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A position that does not place the allies on the wrong side of history because the person responsible for what is happening, he has warned, is Putin. “He is responsible. He has waged this war by his own choice and is responsible for the atrocities and the casualties,” so “we have to continue to put unprecedented pressure on Russia,” he added. The foreign ministers will hold a separate meeting with the Ukrainian minister during the ministerial, Dimytro Kulebawho will go to NATO headquarters to explain his analysis of the situation in Ukraine.

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The ministerial meeting will also serve to continue preparing the summit of NATO leaders that will take place in July in Madrid and call to approve the strategic concept of NATO, a document that is rewritten every decade -the last one corresponds to 2010- to reflect the security environment of the allied countries.

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