- Stoltenberg said he believed the West would continue to support Kiev
- He said that NATO is increasing its stockpile of weapons and ammunition
- Putin warned on Wednesday that he would use “all the weapons” at his disposal to win the war
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) security chief on Wednesday condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for threatening to use nuclear weapons after suffering setbacks in the Ukraine war.
Speaking in an interview with Reuters, former Norwegian Prime Minister and current NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called Putin’s warning “dangerous and reckless” and added that the war in Ukraine is unlikely to end soon unless Russia accepts that Ukraine is an independent nation. Still, he said he believed the West would continue to support Kiev.
“We are ready for a difficult winter. Winter is coming, it will be difficult for all of us. But the answer is not to back down and stop supporting Ukraine. The answer, if nothing else, is to step up and continue to support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.
He went on to say that NATO is prepared for a “protracted” conflict, adding that the organization is now in dialogue with defense industry figures to increase its stockpile of weapons and ammunition.
“We’ve reduced a lot of inventory. We need inventory to be ready. That’s why we’re deeply involved in the industry now,” Stoltenberg said.
The NATO chief’s remarks come after Putin warned on Wednesday that he would use “all the weapons” at his disposal to win the war in Ukraine, which is approaching its seventh month.
“If the territorial unity of our country is threatened, in order to protect Russia and our nation, we will undoubtedly use all the weapons we have. This is not a bluff,” the Russian leader said in his national address, according to a transcript Mediazone.
In addition to the threat, Putin also announced the partial mobilization of reservists to strengthen and support Moscow’s forces in Ukraine. The order would mobilize up to 300,000 Russians with combat and service experience in the war.
In the hours after the announcement, protests were held across Russia. Demand and prices for one-way air tickets from Moscow also rose sharply. The price of a ticket from Moscow to Dubai, for example, has risen to as much as 560,000 rubles ($9,100).