UTOEYA, Norway, Aug 4 (Reuters) – The war in Ukraine is the most dangerous moment for Europe since World War Two, and Russia must not be allowed to win, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.
To prevent Moscow from succeeding, NATO and its member countries may have to continue to support Ukraine with arms and other assistance for a long time to come, he said.
“It’s in our interest that this type of aggressive policy does not succeed,” Stoltenberg said in a speech in his native Norway.
Describing what Moscow calls a “special military operation” as an attack on the current world order, Stoltenberg said the alliance had to prevent the war from spreading.
“This is the most dangerous situation in Europe since World War Two,” he said.
“If President (Vladimir) Putin even thinks of doing something similar to a NATO country as he has done to Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine, then all of NATO will be involved immediately,” Stoltenberg said.
In Other Developments:
- At least five people were killed and six injured on Thursday when Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk, a Ukrainian city held by Russian-backed separatists, officials in the breakaway region said. The Donetsk People’s Republic said in a statement that 5 people had been killed and 6 injured during shelling of the city’s Voroshilovsky district.Donetsk city has been controlled by Russian-backed proxies since 2014, but the Ukrainian army continues to hold positions on the city’s outskirts. Since the beginning of full-scale war on Feb. 24, Donetsk city has come under artillery fire multiple times.
- Powerful explosions were heard in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv on Thursday amid Russian attacks in several regions.
- The UN is conducting a fact-finding mission in response to requests from both Russia and Ukraine after 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in an explosion at a barracks in separatist-controlled Olenivka. The warring nations have accused each other of carrying out the attack. Ukraine claims it was a special operation plotted in advance by the Kremlin, and carried out by Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group. Russia’s defence ministry, however, claims the Ukrainian military used US-supplied rockets to strike the prison.
- Ukraine is pulling out its 40 peacekeepers from the Nato-led mission in Kosovo, which totals 3,800 members, according to Ukrainian news. In March, Zelenskiy issued a decree for all missions to return to Ukraine to support the war.
- The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has again appealed for access to a Ukrainian nuclear power plant now controlled by Russian forces to determine whether it was a source of danger. Contact with the Europe’s largest nuclear plant, which is at Zaporizhzhia and is being operated by Ukrainian technicians under occupation, was “fragile” and communications did not function every day, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Rafael Grossi told a Swiss newspaper.
- The EU intends to put together another financing package for Ukraine by September that will amount to about €8bn, German government sources said.Part of the package would be made up of grants that do not have to be repaid while another part will consist of loans, a government official told journalists on Thursday.
- The U.S. Senate and the Italian parliament both approved Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO.
- The first grain ship to leave a Ukrainian port in wartime passed through the Bosphorus Strait en route to Lebanon for a delivery that foreign powers hope will be the first of many to help ease a global food crisis.
Photo: Ukraine MOD