Madrid, Nov 21 (EFE).- Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg on Monday urged the alliance to maintain unity in support of Ukraine against the Russian invasion despite its high cost to prevent paying “a much higher price” in the future.
In his speech at the opening of Nato’s 68th annual Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid, Stoltenberg recognized that “in our countries, many people face a cost-of-living crisis.
Energy and food bills are rising. These are tough times for many.”
But he said, “the price we pay as Nato Allies is measured in money. While the Ukrainians, they pay a price which is measured in blood.
“If we allow Putin to win, all of us will have to pay a much higher price.”
He then asked the allies to “stay the course together,” and “keep making the case for supporting Ukraine.”
Nato’s chief also reported that the ratification process for Finland and Sweden to become members, an agreement signed at the Madrid summit back in June, was “almost completed, with 28 out of 30 allies having already ratified.”
He added that the soon-to-be members are to be “strong partners” in their “fight against terrorism.”
Furthermore, Stoltenberg said that “the war in Ukraine has exposed some key vulnerabilities,” in reference to the energy crisis arising from the war with Russia, but he praised allies for “diversifying their supplies” and “moving away from fossil energies and investing in renewable sources.”
But he also warned them “to be careful not to create new dependencies. Most notably in China” so that Nato does not “give authoritarian regimes any chance to exploit our vulnerabilities and undermine us.”
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, confirmed that his country would continue to support the Ukrainian people in every possible way and called on the other member states to maintain the unity they have shown so far and send a “resounding” message to Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Leave Ukraine alone”.
The president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the conference via video link to urge the alliance to recognize Russia as a terrorist state following its missile attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure that has left millions without power.
He also expressed concern about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, where in the last two days bombings have been carried out in the surrounding areas, and asked Nato for “guaranteed protection from Russian sabotage at nuclear facilities.”
“All our nations are interested in not having any dangerous incidents at our nuclear facilities,” he warned.
Zelenskyy reiterated his desire for “Ukraine to become a full member of the EU and Nato”, urging member states of both institutions to support its requests for admission. EFE