Stoltenberg: NATO can avoid military conflict with Russia
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warns of an escalation in Ukraine but insists that a strong Ukraine will help NATO avoid military conflict with Russia.
On Saturday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that the Ukrainian situation might spiral out of control, but he was confident that a military conflict between Russia and NATO could be averted.
"I'm afraid that the war in Ukraine will get out of control. I'm afraid of a conflict between Russia and NATO, but I'm sure that we will avoid it," Stoltenberg told Norwegian broadcaster NRK, adding that this time is "fateful for Europe and Norway."
Stoltenberg noted that "if something goes wrong, it could have dire consequences," adding that NATO is working around the clock to avert further escalation.
At the same time, he argued that military aid to Ukraine is critical now because only a "strong Ukraine" can achieve peace.
Merkel: Minsk agreements were meant to 'give Ukraine time'
The Minsk accords were signed to "give Ukraine time" to strengthen itself, according to ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was in office from 2005 to 2021, in an interview published on Wednesday in the Zeit newspaper.
Merkel said "The 2014 Minsk agreement was an attempt to give time to Ukraine. It also used this time to become stronger as can be seen today. The Ukraine of 2014-2015 is not the modern Ukraine."
According to her, "it was clear to everyone" that the conflict had been put on hold, noting that the issue had not been settled, "yet this was what gave Ukraine invaluable time."
She voiced doubt that NATO states could not have supported Kiev to the level that they do today at the time.
Merkel was the German chancellor when Ukraine's state coup happened in 2014, and the Minsk accords on resolving the Donbass war were signed with her contribution.