NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg notes that the Kremlin's actions indicate Russia's plans to resume its offensive against Ukraine, and the invitation to negotiations is just an attempt to buy time for preparation.
This is stated in his column published in the Financial Times.
Stoltenberg reminded that Russia has mobilized about 200,000 new people in recent months, and the events on the battlefield show that the leadership does not care about losses. At the same time, Moscow is trying to negotiate arms and ammunition with other authoritarian allies, primarily Iran.
"Russia hopes to freeze the war in order to have time to regroup, rearm its forces and try to resume the offensive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi proposed that the Russian Federation begin to withdraw troops before Christmas as a first step towards ending the conflict, but Moscow sharply rejected this proposal. It was Putin who started the war, and he can complete it at least today by getting out of Ukraine. Now there are no signs that he really wants peace," said the Secretary General.
He added that most wars sooner or later end with negotiations, and Zelenskyi has already offered his "peace formula".
"But it is worth remembering that what happens at the negotiating table is inextricably linked to what happens on the battlefield. We must continue to support Ukraine so that it can hold its own as a sovereign, independent European state. If Putin wins in Ukraine, it will signal to Russia and other authoritarian regimes that they can get what they want by force. It will be a disaster for Ukraine. And it will also make the whole world more dangerous and all of us more vulnerable. Therefore, it is in our own security interests to maintain support for Ukraine this winters, and as much as needed," argues Stoltenberg.
This is not his first statement to the press that the leader of the Russian Federation is planning a "long war" and has not given up his original intention to conquer Ukraine.