Russia seeks a pause in the fighting to prepare for a renewed assault on Ukraine early next year, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in his interview with Financial Times.
A peaceful settlement to the war in Ukraine is not possible at this point because Russia shows no signs of engaging in negotiations that are respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Stoltenberg claims.
“It is for Ukrainians to decide when the time is right to start to negotiate and to agree on the conditions. Most wars and most likely also this war will end at the negotiating table,” Stoltenberg added.
The NATO chief believes that Russia is interested in freezing the war, at least for a short period of time, in order to get an opportunity to regroup and launch a bigger offensive against Ukraine in the spring.
“The paradox is that the more we want a peaceful, negotiated solution, ensuring that Ukraine prevails, the more urgent it is that we provide military support to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg concluded.
Stoltenberg urges NATO member countries to invest in defense because NATO’s relationships with Russia will not get back to normal for a long time, even after the Russo-Ukrainian war is over.