NATO should prepare for a prolonged war between Russia and Ukraine, as neither side has the military capability to secure a decisive victory, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said in an interview with Romanian TV channel Digi24.
Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has managed to occupy around 18% of Ukrainian territory. Ukraine’s Armed Forces liberated Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy Oblasts in northern Ukraine in the spring of 2022 and pushed Russian forces out of most of Kharkiv and Mykolayiv Oblasts during the counteroffensive in the autumn of 2022.
However, according to Mircea Geoană, Russia’s military economy “meets today’s needs,” while North Korea and Iran are sending weapons to Russia for a war against Ukraine.
“Just as some of us, perhaps at the beginning of the war, almost three years ago, thought that in two weeks the Russians would occupy Kyiv, we said: ‘No, Ukraine has the capabilities to resist,’ so perhaps we had too much enthusiasm and optimism at the beginning of the Ukrainian offensive a few months ago last spring,” Mircea Geoană said.
At the same time, Geoană urged not to be overly pessimistic “because Ukraine has enough resources to sustain this war” and be successful.
“My call is to prepare for a long war that will last. The war will not end in 2024 and probably not in 2025. We see no military potential that would allow us to win a decisive victory on either side. We expect a protracted war with small offensives, counteroffensives, gaining and losing territory,” Geoană said.
Mircea Geoană also stated that NATO will never accept that Russia occupies Ukraine and “returns to Romania’s border.”