The war began in February 2022 when Russian armed forces invaded Ukraine. The Ukrainian army has been conducting a counteroffensive since June to push back Russian forces in the south and east, but the operation has only managed to recapture a small number of areas.
Dutch NATO admiral Rob Bauer estimated that the Ukrainian military was withdrawing about 200 to 300 meters of ground per day during its counteroffensive. But Ukrainians are paying a heavy price for it, with many deaths and injuries, Mr. Bauer said. Russian mines slow down Ukrainian counterattack due to lack of ammunition.
“We all want a quick peace,” said Mr. Stoltenberg promises more in his interview. “But at the same time we have to recognize this: if President (Volodymyr) Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist.” “If President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia lay down their arms, we will have peace,” he said.
Regarding Ukraine’s desire to join NATO, Mr. Stoltenberg assured: “There is no doubt that sooner or later Ukraine will be in NATO.” Kyiv became closer to NATO during the alliance’s summit in July, he explained. “When this war ends, Ukraine will need security guarantees. Otherwise, history may repeat itself,” he warned.
At a NATO summit in Vilnius, alliance leaders agreed that Ukraine could join NATO once certain conditions were met, with US and German leaders insisting that among those conditions were reforms to protect democracy and the rule of law.