On Wednesday, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg sat down with Reuters Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York. The exclusive interview followed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest address ordering a partial mobilization and issuing a nuclear threat to the West.
“The speech of President Putin demonstrates that the war is not going according to President Putin’s plans,” Stoltenberg said. The NATO chief made a grim prediction that “More troops will escalate the conflict. That will mean more suffering, more loss of lives – Ukrainian lives, but also Russian lives.”
Stoltenberg said President Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine was “dangerous and reckless rhetoric.” He added that NATO would remain calm and “not engage in that same kind of reckless and dangerous nuclear rhetoric as President Putin.”
Stoltenberg also said that the defense alliance is prepared for a “hard winter” and the “long haul” in dealing with Putin. “The winter is coming, it’s going to be hard for all of us. But the answer is not to step down and to stop supporting Ukraine. The answer, if anything, is to step up and further support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg added.
On China, Stoltenberg said that NATO does not see the country as an adversary but expressed concern over the cooperation between Beijing and Moscow since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its comments against NATO’s expansion. “China is part of the security challenges we need to face today and in the future,” Stoltenberg said.
The entire conversation can be replayed on Reuters YouTube channel.
jj.minder @ tr.com