NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg showed support for Ukraine on Friday in taking back territory that was recently claimed by Russia.
“Ukraine has, of course, the right to retake Ukrainian territory that is now occupied by Russian forces. That’s the reason why we support them. So they can defend themself but also so they can continue to liberate territory. And as I said, the illegal annexation or attempt of annexing Ukrainian territory doesn’t change that. It doesn’t change the nature of this conflict,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg went on to state that if NATO’s support of Ukraine was deterred by the annexation and the threat of nuclear escalation, they would be accepting “nuclear blackmailing.”
“Then we accept that by threatening of using nuclear weapons, authoritarian powers like Russia can achieve exactly what they want,” Stoltenberg added.
The comments by Stoltenberg come shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he was claiming four new Ukrainian territories as part of Russia. Putin asserted that the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, as well as the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, now belonged to Russia.