NATO: Putin prepares for a long war in Ukraine

NATO: Putin prepares for a long war in Ukraine

From . – 18.01.2023 14:27 (act. 18.01.2023 14:27)

Ukraine - According to NATO, Putin is preparing for a long war

Ukraine – Putin prepares for a long war, says NATO – ©APA/AFP/MANDEL NGAN

Russian President “Putin is preparing for a long war,” NATO Assistant Secretary General Mircea Geoană said on Wednesday at the start of a two-day meeting of the Western Defense Alliance Military Committee.

Putin has already deployed more than 200,000 additional troops, is ramping up weapons production and getting more weapons from authoritarian regimes like Iran.

NATO expects a longer war in Ukraine

“2023 will be a difficult year and we must support Ukraine as long as necessary,” said Geoană. “We have to be prepared for a long road.”

Military Committee Chairman Admiral Rob Bauer called it a “sacred duty” to always be prepared to expect the unexpected. It is also crucial to honestly inform political leadership about strengths and weaknesses. “Today, modern warfare is as much about bits and robots as it is about mud and blood,” said the Dutchman.

Weapon production capabilities will be expanded

Geoană believes that to strengthen NATO’s capabilities in the face of the situation, it is now necessary to expand industrial capabilities for the production of weapons and ammunition and to make better use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence. It is also important to invest even more in defense. The 2 percent target set nearly a decade ago is increasingly being seen as a floor rather than a ceiling for defense spending, he said. Alliance members would need to continue to make progress and make new commitments beyond 2024.

The current two percent target calls for all NATO countries to approach the target of spending at least two percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense by 2024. In line with the will of many Allies, it will be replaced by a new objective at the next regular summit in July.

NATO meeting until Thursday

At the meeting of NATO’s highest military body, topics such as the ongoing reinforcement of the eastern flank and the military situation in Ukraine will be discussed until Thursday. Participants include chiefs of staff from member states.