World and Nation

Stoltenberg: Allies ‘prepared for the long haul’ in war of attrition in Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated NATO’s position in a war of attrition on the third day of the Madrid summit, saying “it’s very clear that Allies are prepared for the long haul. Wars are unpredictable, but we have to be prepared for the long haul. And that was also the clear message to all of us in the room from President Zelenskyy and our answer was ‘yes, we are prepared.’” He added that the Ukrainians “are fighting for their independence. But they're also fighting for values which are important for NATO, fundamental for NATO: the sovereignty and territorial integrity of every nation. And therefore this matters for our security.”

The statement echoes comments Stoltenberg made early June. When visiting Washington ahead of the Madrid Summit, he declared the war to be a war of attrition and said “we just have to be prepared for the long haul, because what we see is that this war has now become a war of attrition.”

Stoltenberg has repeatedly emphasized NATO’s position to avoid a “full-fledged war” against Russia, providing “support to Ukraine” but remaining “not part of the conflict.”

Support from NATO member states has included military and financial aid; in particular, President Joe Biden recently announced a $700 million weapons package that would be supplied to Ukraine; the package includes advanced rocket systems and anti-aircraft missiles.