Ukraine is making major gains in its counteroffensive, but Western allies should not underestimate Russia, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned on Thursday.
“Thanks to the heroic resistance of the Ukraine people, and the unprecedented support from NATO allies, Ukraine has made significant gains,” Stoltenberg said in his speech at the Berlin Security Conference.
“But we should not underestimate Russia. Russian missiles and drones continue to rain down on Ukrainian cities, civilians, and critical infrastructure, causing enormous human suffering, as winter sets in,” he added.
Stoltenberg underlined that NATO allies will continue to provide military support to Ukraine, delivering advanced weapons and air defense systems.
“I welcome Germany’s strong support for Ukraine, with significant financial, humanitarian, and military aid,” he said.
“We see the difference this makes every day on the battlefield. And it is important to further step up and sustain our support,” he stressed.
Stoltenberg also welcomed Germany’s decision to substantially increase its defense spending, with investments in new fighter jets, helicopters, ships, and submarines.
He said the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, play a critical role in NATO’s deterrence and defense plans.
“We need a strong and ready Bundeswehr with high-end capabilities across all domains. We need a strong and robust defense industry that can deliver on the requirements, based on clear and sustainable demand signals,” he said.
“This matters for Germany’s security. It matters for Europe’s security. And it matters for global security,” he added.