Stoltenberg: Putin got “more NATO on his borders” because of the invasion of Ukraine

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The specter of war in Europe continued to cast a shadow over the high-impact networks of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, as leaders criticized Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Addressing a crowd of politicians and chief executives, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Putin had “made a huge strategic mistake” by invading his neighbour.

The NATO chief called the invasion a “game-changing factor” for European security and the broader international order, and said it “shattered peace in Europe”.

Ironically, as a result of the war, Putin is now putting “more NATO on his borders, more members” in the alliance, Stoltenberg said, noting the growing possibility that Sweden and Finland He will be accepted into the alliance that currently has 30 members.

As a former prime minister of Norway, Stoltenberg welcomed their decision to apply to join the body, calling it “historic” and saying that any Fears of NATO member Turkey It will be processed and resolved. He added that about 96 percent of Europeans will be protected by NATO when Sweden and Finland join.

Economic uncertainty and ongoing war have cast a shadow over Davos

Stoltenberg told business leaders that “freedom is more important than free trade,” and advocated protecting shared values ​​over profit. He warned that dealing with authoritarian regimes “undermines our security,” citing Russia and China as an example.

Three months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Stoltenberg said it was NATO’s job to ensure “that this monstrous, brutal war does not escalate into an all-out war in Europe between NATO and Russia.” He said the coalition should prevent any “miscalculation” that could trigger the collective self-defense mechanism under Article 5.

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Speaking at the forum ahead of Stoltenberg, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the war in Ukraine had called “the entire international system into question”. Rather than finding solutions to climate change and shaping globalization, “instead, we must address the costs and consequences of Putin’s choice war,” she told the audience.

“The evidence of Russian aggression against Ukraine comes straight from another century: treating millions of people not as human beings but as a faceless population. … Attempting to trample the aspirations of an entire nation with tanks.”

Von der Leyen, who visited Ukraine in April, criticized Russia for disrupting global supply chains, impeding grain exports from Ukraine and “weaponizing” its energy supplies. She lamented Putin’s “devastating anger” but said Russia could one day regain its place in Europe if it “finds its way back to democracy, the rule of law and respect for the rules-based international order…because Russia is our neighbour.” She admitted that this idea is “a distant dream and hope” at present.

Stoltenberg said it was important for NATO and the EU not to duplicate defense efforts. Von der Leyen, the former German defense minister, emphasized that the EU “will never be a military alliance”. However, during her speech, she said: “Freedom must be fought.” “Ukraine must win this war.”

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Zelensky called for a “case of war criminals” and a change of “Russian House” in Davos

She said the European Union is providing unprecedented military aid to Ukraine, as well as billions of dollars in financial support for reconstruction, and hosting some 6 million refugees in its member states. “It’s an economic relief operation unprecedented in recent history.”

Von der Leyen added that sanctions against Russia are “exhausting the Kremlin’s war machine,” as she pledged to continue helping Ukraine on its “European path” to becoming an EU member state. “Ukraine belongs to our European family,” she said. “We stand with them, and I believe this is a defining moment for all democracies in the world.”

Stoltenberg and von der Leyen spoke a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke directed Forum via video link, urging the world’s economic elite to set “new precedents” to punish Russia for its invasion. No Russian representatives from the government or business were invited to Davos, which resumed In the Swiss ski resort after a hiatus caused by the epidemic.

Emily Rohala contributed to this report.

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