NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to “immediately” stop the war in Ukraine, adding that efforts to undermine the alliance had failed.
“President Putin must stop this war immediately [and] engage in diplomacy in good faith,” said Stoltenberg in a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels.
The military alliance agreed to double down on its support for Ukraine, providing further military supplies, financial and humanitarian aid.
Putin’s attempts to undermine NATO strengthened it
Member states would expand their defenses across land, air, sea, and space in response to the “new reality for our security,” said Stoltenberg, applauding new financing commitments from Denmark and Germany. “President Putin’s aim was to undermine NATO. What he’s done is to strengthen NATO. … He’s getting more NATO on [Russia’s] borders.”
When asked whether NATO had changed its stance on fast-tracking Ukraine’s application, the NATO chief said the alliance was unmoved. “It’s up to them whether they decide to apply to NATO,” Stoltenberg continued, adding that the application would then be subject to a vote by member states. “It’s not for Russia to try to veto such a process.”