NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stated that there are different views among the allies on the need to supply weapons to Ukraine, TASS reported.
“I believe that NATO allies have an obligation to offer support to Ukraine,” he said in an interview with El Pais newspaper posted on Saturday. “We provide political support, practical support, we help them modernize their defense agencies, we help them fight corruption, we help them establish cyber defense mechanisms. As for defensive weapons, the allies have different views. Some allies, such as the United Kingdom, the United States or the Baltic countries, provide this type of weaponry. This is Ukraine’s right to defend itself. Ukraine has the right to defend itself, it is a principle enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.”
“No one is interested in an armed conflict,” Stoltenberg assured. “From the outset, we offer to sit down and listen to what your [i.e., Russia’s] security concerns are. And to study issues such as arms control, nuclear weapons, missiles, transparency in military activity, establish better channels of political and military.”
Speaking about the possibility of a neutral status for Ukraine, the NATO Secretary General said: “(…) this matter goes beyond Ukraine. Russia wants to sign a legally binding treaty that would block any future NATO membership. If Sweden, for example, wants to enter, it is the decision of the Swedes, not of Moscow. Second, it was Finland that made the sovereign decision to be neutral and to seek a middle way between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. So we must respect Ukraine’s decision, regardless of whether it is in favor of accession or not.”
And asked whether it would be acceptable if Russia lowered its demand to stop only Ukraine from entering the NATO and not other countries, Jens Stoltenberg, responded: “We never negotiate in public, so the response we have sent to Moscow is confidential. Confidentiality is a prerequisite for moving forward diplomatically. But the freedom of choice of each country is a fundamental principle.”