NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance needs to reinvigorate its military capacity in order to support Ukraine for the “long haul.”
In an interview Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live, Stoltenberg said the alliance had depleted much of its own supplies of weapons and ammunition and would need to work with industry to “ramp up production” in order to continue its support of Ukraine.
He also told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton that alliance states needed to be ready to pay some price, in the form of higher energy costs and other economic fallout, in order to bolster Ukraine’s defence.
“We have to remember that the price we pay is measured in money and the price Ukraine is paying is measured in in lives, in blood, every day, and it’s our obligation to support them.”
Ukraine has in the past few months taken back substantial portions of territory previously occupied by Russia, most recently the major southern city of Kherson. Russia has responded with a significant missile strike campaign against Ukraine.
Stoltenberg addressed Sunday the ongoing investigation into an incident in Poland, in which a missile killed two people. The secretary general framed the event as an accident and not a strike by Russia against NATO, though he noted the investigation was ongoing.
“We don’t see any imminent threat for any military attack in against any NATO allied country. But at the same time wars are dangerous and it’s a full-fledged war going on in our neighbourhood, in Ukraine, and accidents incidents happen as a result of war,” he said.
Stoltenberg said it was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that had created the conditions for an accident like that one that occurred in Poland earlier this week.
No room for conflict fatigue: UN official
While Ukraine has recently made gains on the military front, the arrival of winter could freeze the conflict and intensify the plight of civilians who often lack basic services like electricity and heating.
In a separate interview on Rosemary Barton Live, Denise Brown, the UN Resident Co-ordinator in Ukraine, urged Canadians and others outside Ukraine to maintain their support for Ukrainian civilians.
“Think of the people who got caught up in a war, who lost their homes, who don’t have access to electricity, who don’t have access to heating, whose children are not able to go to school,” she said.
“I don’t think any of us have the luxury of being tired of this war and the impact on Ukraine.”
Brown, a Canadian, talked about her experience travelling to newly liberated Kherson, including hearing mines being set off throughout the city.
“There’s a capacity to demine in this country, but because of the extent of the mining that is believed to have taken place, capacity needs to be reinforced,” she said.
“I wish I could tell you that we have just one focus but we don’t,” she said, noting her group was juggling several hot zones, including Kherson but also Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia.
“We are careful, but we also have to reach these people, so it’s a delicate balancing act to be sure.”
Ceasefire would allow Russia to rearm: former Ukraine president
Ukraine’s gains and the length of the war have prompted some questions about when a ceasefire might be called or an end to the war negotiated.
Speaking at the Halifax Security Forum, former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said a ceasefire only allowed Russia to rearm for another war. He referred to Ukraine’s military as the country’s “negotiator” in talks to end the war.
That sentiment was echoed by Andriy Kostin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, in an interview earlier this month with the BBC, saying “I don’t think that the issue of resuming any negotiations is possible.”
Speaking to Barton in an interview airing Sunday, Kostin, detailed new evidence of war crimes uncovered in newly liberated Kherson and called for a new international legal mechanism to punish Russia for aggression. A new mechanism was necessary, he said, because Russia would block any action at the United Nations Security Council.
“We all understand that the crime of aggression is the mother crime of all war crimes. If aggression would not occur, other war crimes would not be committed,” Kostin said.
“We are fighting for justices not only for Ukrainians … but also fighting for justice on the international level, in international courts, in international venues, to show that rule of law means more than rule of force.”