In an interview with the German Funke media group, the Norwegian politician threw cold water on the notion of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine coming to an end any time soon.
“Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin,” Stoltenberg said per France24. “Therefore we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.”
“We are all wishing for a quick peace,” the NATO Secretary General continued. “But at the same time, we must recognise: if President Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist. If President Putin and Russia lay down their weapons, we will have peace.”
The comments come ahead of another planned Washington visit from President Volodymyr Zelensky next week when he will once again meet with President Joe Biden as well as members of Congress to lobby for additional military aid amid the fledgling counteroffensive against the heavily entrenched Russian forces, which are occupying large swaths of Ukrainian territory in the south and in the Donbas region.
According to reports, Congress is currently considering — at the urging of the Biden administration — a further $24 billion in aid to Ukraine, which would come on top of the $113 billion in American taxpayer dollars already committed to backing Kyiv in what has devolved into a proxy war with Moscow.