Follow live the latest news on the war in Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday accused Russia of escalating the conflict in Ukraine with the “partial mobilization” of the population decreed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming that this decision shows that the war is not going according to his plans.
“The speech is an escalation, but it is not a surprise, so we are prepared and we will remain calm and continue to support Ukraine,” the NATO political leader assured Reuters, in his first statements since the Kremlin’s announcement.
According to Stoltenberg, the announcement of a mobilization of the Russian population makes it clear that the war in Ukraine “is not going according to Putin’s plans.” “He has made major miscalculations, he thought he was going to be able to control Ukraine in a matter of days, then he has been driven out of the north, the Russian offensive in the Donbas has slowed down and now the Ukrainians are liberating territory,” he has exposed.
On the “partial mobilization” with which Russia wants to call up 300,000 troops, mainly reservists, the former Norwegian prime minister has stated that any operation to add a significant number of troops to the front “will take time.”
In this regard he has recalled the lack of equipment and structure of the Russian Army so far in Ukraine, casting shadows on the effectiveness of the measure announced by Putin. “What we have seen so far is that Russian troops are ill-equipped. They lack proper command and control and have also had a lot of problems with logistics,” he has noted.
In any case, the NATO secretary general has indicated that the Russian troop surge will “escalate” the conflict in Ukraine and will result in “more suffering” and “more loss of Ukrainian and Russian lives.” “President Putin can put an end to this war by withdrawing his forces, stop invading another country,” he has spat.
Faced with the nuclear threats made by Moscow, Stoltenberg stressed that the most important thing is to prevent this scenario and warned of the unprecedented consequences of waging a nuclear war which, he warned, Russia would not win.
In any case, he said that there is no perceived change in the Russian nuclear position and called for avoiding “dangerous nuclear rhetoric” with the Kremlin, sending a message of calm and “vigilance” to reiterate once again that NATO will at all times avoid a direct conflict with Russia.