Ukraine permanently leaves Kremlin's influence – Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg and Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo by NATO press service)

Russia won't achieve its war goals, and the Kremlin has 'lost Ukraine forever,' said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with dpa agency, as reported by Suddeutsche Zeitung.

Despite all of Russia's military efforts, Stoltenberg believes they can no longer attain the objectives of their war against Ukraine.

"The invasion, initiated by Vladimir Putin's order, aimed to prevent Ukraine from getting closer to NATO and the European Union. However, after nearly two years of war, Ukraine is closer to NATO and the EU than ever before," he said.

He emphasized that "Putin has permanently lost Ukraine," calling it a significant strategic defeat for Russia.

Stoltenberg highlighted the "enormous cost" Russia is paying for the war, having lost hundreds of aircraft, thousands of tanks, and 300,000 soldiers killed or wounded. The war has led to inflation and a lower standard of living in the country. Additionally, Russia is now more politically isolated than before.

At the same time, Stoltenberg is confident that Ukraine will eventually become a member of the Alliance.

However, he warned against overly optimistic expectations and noted that there are no signs that Putin will change course.

"Putin will try to occupy new territories. For NATO and its members, this means the need to continue providing strong support to Kyiv. Ukrainians have shown that they can defend themselves and use the weapons they receive from Germany and many other countries," Stoltenberg said.

According to NATO Secretary General, Ukraine's allies need to address issues related to expanding assistance to Ukraine.

"In general, we should increase production to more effectively protect Ukraine and ourselves. It is already clear that the EU's plans to supply Ukraine with 1 million artillery shells by early 2024 have failed because, according to estimates, at least 40% of the production is exported to third countries. The question is whether it is really necessary to export so much," Stoltenberg said.

He declined to comment on discussions about the necessity of mobilization in Ukraine.

"I don't want to give advice to President Volodymyr Zelensky on how best to conduct the war. No one knows Ukraine's need for soldiers better than the Ukrainians themselves," he said.

Read also: President of Czech Republic: Only Ukraine and Russia can talk about "war fatigue"