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Stoltenberg: “We tried to negotiate with Putin before the war, but it wasn't possible”

"On the day of the invasion we activated our defense plans, deploying more forces in the eastern part of the alliance. Now there are more NATO forces, infrastructure, aircraft, troops in the eastern part of the alliance than there have ever been"

New York

© Agenzia Nova - Reproduction reserved

Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted the United States and NATO to withdraw from the eastern part of the Atlantic Alliance and to commit themselves not to further enlarge the Alliance. According to the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “We must remember that in December 2021, a couple of months before the invasion, President Putin presented what he called security treaties. He wanted the United States and NATO to sign documents that were sent to Brussels and Washington. There were several requests. He called for removing all NATO infrastructure from the eastern part of the alliance. He called for a buffer zone, especially in the Baltic region, so that most of the Baltic countries could not be protected by NATO forces. And he asked, as a sort of ultimatum not to invade Ukraine, that NATO guarantee not to expand further,” he said.

“It was a question of not proceeding with further enlargements with Ukraine, but also with Finland and Sweden. We invited Russia to dialogue. We said that it was not possible for us to accept these ultimatums. But we made some diplomatic efforts to see if we could sit at the table and find a diplomatic solution to the crisis that was escalating even in the fall of 2021,” she added. “The declared purpose of the invasion of Ukraine was to stop the further enlargement of NATO and to have less Alliance, with buffer zones and the removal of NATO infrastructure from all those countries that have joined since 1997,” he continued Stoltenberg. “President Putin achieved exactly the opposite. On the day of the invasion we activated our defense plans, deploying more forces to the eastern part of the alliance. Now there are more NATO forces, infrastructure, planes, troops in the eastern part of the Alliance than there have ever been,” he concluded.

Still on the subject of the war in Ukraine, Stoltenberg said: “If the United States is worried about China and wants to focus its attention on Asia, it needs to make sure Ukraine wins the war. “The good news – he added – is that I think that across NATO, and also in partner nations, they realize that supporting Ukraine is something we do because it is in our security interests to ensure that it prevails as a sovereign and independent nation . It would be a tragedy for Ukraine if President Putin won, but it would also be extremely dangerous for us.”
This, he added, “would make the world more dangerous and us more vulnerable. Because so the message to Putin, but also to President Xi, would be that when they use military force, when they violate international law, when they invade another country, they get what they want." If he States UnitThey are worried about China and want to pivot to Asia, Stoltenberg concluded, “they have to make sure that Putin doesn't win in Ukraine. If Kiev won, we would have the second largest army in Europe, the Ukrainian army, which has strengthened, and at the same time a weakened Russian army. Furthermore, Europe is now increasing defense spending, which will make it easier for them to focus on China as well, as well as be less worried about the situation in Europe. But it will be the opposite if Putin wins. It is therefore in the security interests of the United States to make sure that Ukraine wins and that it is easier to deal with China.”

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