NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, at a press conference at NATO headquarters, stated that Russia’s annexation of 4 regions in Ukraine is illegitimate and illegal, and that they will never recognize these lands as part of Russia.
Stating that this is the largest forced annexation attempt on European soil since the Second World War, an area roughly the size of Portugal was seized by Russia illegally from Ukrainian territory, Stoltenberg said, “The fake referendums were held in Moscow and they completely violated international law. was imposed on Ukraine in violation of made its assessment.
Stoltenberg, “These lands are Ukraine. Donetsk is Ukraine. Luhansk is Ukraine. Kherson is Ukraine. Zaporizhia is Ukraine. Just like Crimea is Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.
Underlining that Russia has forcibly seized Ukrainian territory for the second time, Stoltenberg said, “This represents the most serious escalation since the start of the war.”
Seeing the annexation decision as “a sign of weakness, not strength”, Stoltenberg said, “This is an admission that the war did not go as planned and that Putin has completely failed in his strategic goals.”
CONTINUE SUPPORT TO UKRAINE
“Putin’s aim is to deter us from supporting Ukraine, but he will not succeed,” Stoltenberg said.
Pointing out that providing support to Ukraine is essential for both this country’s self-defense and the security of its NATO allies, Stoltenberg said, “We do not want Putin to win because if he wins, there will be a message that authoritarian countries like Russia can achieve their goals by using military force. This will make the whole world more dangerous. ” he said.
Putin’s Nuclear Discourse
“Putin’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and reckless.” Stoltenberg said that they did not see any change in Putin’s stance on the nuclear issue.
- We follow closely what Russia is doing. Russia must understand that nuclear war should never be fought. If they use nuclear weapons, it will have serious consequences for Russia. This was communicated very clearly to Russia.
UKRAINE’S MEMBERSHIP TO NATO
“Ukraine has the right to choose its own path, what kind of security order it will enter,” Stoltenberg said of Ukraine’s application for membership.
Stoltenberg noted that only 30 NATO members can decide on Ukraine’s membership, and that membership requires a unanimous vote.