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Stoltenberg: More modern weapons could free Donbas region

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday said that the war in Ukraine could last years, but that a supply of state-of-art weapons would increase Kyiv’s chances to free the eastern Donbas region from Russian control.

“Although the fight in the Donbas is being waged ever more brutally by Russia, Ukrainian soldiers are putting up a brave resistance. With more modern weapons, the likelihood increases that Ukraine will be able to drive Putin’s troops out of the Donbas again as well,” Stoltenberg told German magazine Bild am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday.

The NATO chief believes it is impossible to predict when the war will end. “Nobody knows. We must prepare for the fact that it could take years,” he was quoted as saying. “We must not let up in supporting Ukraine, even if the costs are high, not only for military support but also because of rising energy and food prices.”

His comments come as NATO leaders are set to meet in Madrid at the end of the month to adopt its new “strategic concept,” a strategic document outlining the alliance’s missions for the coming decade.

Stoltenberg said that, under the new strategy, Russia won’t be considered anymore as a “partner” but as a “threat” to security, peace and stability. The document will also mention China for the first time, the NATO chief said, noting that “China’s rise is a challenge to our interests, our values ​​and our security.”

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