The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) security general Wednesday slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin for threatening to use nuclear weapons after suffering setbacks in the war in Ukraine.
Speaking in an interview with Reuters, former Prime Minister of Norway and current NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called Putin’s warning “dangerous and reckless” and added that the war in Ukraine will unlikely end anytime soon unless Russia accepts that Ukraine is an independent nation. Nonetheless, he said he believed the West would continue supporting Kyiv.
“We are prepared for a hard winter. The winter is coming, it’s going to be hard for all of us. But the answer is not to step down and to stop supporting Ukraine. The answer, if anything, is to step up and further support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.
He further said that NATO is prepared for a “long haul” conflict, adding that the organization is now in dialogue with figures in the defense industry to bolster its stocks of weapons and ammunition.
“We have reduced a lot of stocks. We need stocks to be prepared. That’s the reason why we are now deeply engaging with the industry,” Stoltenberg said.
The NATO chief’s remarks come after Putin on Wednesday warned that he will use “all the weapons” at his disposal to win the war in Ukraine, which is nearing the seventh-month mark.
“If the territorial unity of our country is threatened, in order to protect Russia and our nation, we will unquestionably use all the weapons we have. This is no bluff,” the Russian leader said in his national address, according to a transcription by Mediazona.
In addition to the threat, Putin also announced a partial mobilization of reservists to bolster and support Moscow’s forces in Ukraine. The order would see up to 300,000 Russians with combat and service experience mobilized in the war.
In the hours following the announcement, protests took place across Russia. The demand and prices of one-way flight tickets out of Moscow also skyrocketed. The fare from Moscow to Dubai, for example, shot up to as high as 560,000 rubles ($9,100).