North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the alliance is ready to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion in a war that can “drag on and last for months and years.”
“We will continue to put maximum pressure on [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin to end the war by imposing sanctions, by providing economic support but also military support to Ukraine, and we need to be prepared for the long-term,” Stoltenberg said during a NATO Youth Summit taking place in Brussels.
“It's a very unpredictable and fragile situation in Ukraine. But there is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years," he continued.
Stoltenberg also said that NATO allies are preparing to help Kyiv advance form an “old Soviet-era equipment to more modern standard-weapons and systems,” but added that it will “require more training.”
The United States and some European countries including Netherlands and France have recently announced that they will be supplying Ukraine with howitzers, long-range weapons, to help defend itself against Russia.
Germany has said they will supply anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, as it attempts to deflect criticism that the government has been slow to provide military equipment to the war-torn country.
On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said they will support the Ukrainian military by providing “training and maintenance.”
Baerbock added that Germany had chosen not to make public all the weapons it had previously sent to Ukraine. “We have supplied anti-tank weapons, Stingers and many other weapons that we haven’t spoken about in public,” the foreign minister said.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss rallied for support for the United Kingdom to send warplanes and other heavy weapons in a keynote speech on Wednesday.
“Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes – digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this,” Truss said.
“Our sanctions have already seen Russia facing its first external debt default for a century. We need to go further,” she added.