Stoltenberg: NATO should prepare for decades of confrontation with Russia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

NATO should prepare for a possible decades-long confrontation with Moscow because if Russia wins in Ukraine, aggression could spread to other countries, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt published on Feb. 10.

"NATO does not seek war with Russia, but we must prepare for a confrontation that could last for decades," he said, noting that the defense industry should be rapidly expanded because deterrence "only works if it is credible."

Read also: Russia could attack NATO state in three to five years amid faster arms build-up, Danish intel says

The best defense now is to support Ukraine and invest in NATO's military capabilities.

"We need to rebuild and expand our industrial base more quickly so that we can increase supplies to Ukraine and replenish our own stockpiles," Stoltenberg said, explaining that this means moving to the rapid production needed during the war.

He also called for speeding up the fulfillment of orders for European defense companies, stressing that in a market economy, arms manufacturers need signed contracts to increase production.

Read also: EU Foreign Affairs official says Europeans must better understand Russian threat

Putin is preparing his country's economy for a long war, so the West must also do more for its own security.

Stoltenberg is still counting on a "yes" from the US Congress to help Ukraine, stressing that there is a "transatlantic burden-sharing" in Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine.

Earlier, Bild, citing its own sources in the intelligence of a European country, reported that Russia may try to attack Europe in late 2024 or early 2025, when the United States will be "without a leader" and will be able to save European states only after some delay.

Western militaries, as well as civilians, need to be prepared for an 'all-out war' with Russia that may significantly affect their lives, Britain's Sky News reported on Jan. 19, citing Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that Europe is again "facing a military threat that has not been seen for 30 years" and warned of a possible Russian attack in five to eight years.

New intelligence shows that Russia is rearming faster than expected and could attack a NATO country within three to five years, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said on Feb. 9, Reuters reports.

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