“After the Cold War, we all hoped for – and worked for – a more peaceful relationship with Russia. Gradually those hopes waned, because of President Putin’s pattern of aggressive behaviour – in Georgia, Aleppo, Crimea and the Donbas. The full-fledged invasion of Ukraine shattered any remaining illusions of constructive cooperation with Russia,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in his speech at the Day of Industry, organized by the Federation of German Industries.
According to Jens Stoltenberg, a sovereign, independent democratic state in Europe – Ukraine – has been attacked with a full-fledged innovation, and this was “a part of a pattern.”
“The invasion of Ukraine is part of a pattern. It started – well, we can discuss when it started with Chechnya, – but at least with Georgia in 2008, where they went into Georgia, then the brutal warfare in Syria. And then the war in Ukraine didn’t start last year in February, it started in 2014. That was when they took Crimea, and a few months after went into eastern Donbas.
So this pattern led to the biggest reinforcement of NATO in generations since 2014, with more troops, more defence spending, higher readiness, because we need to send a very clear message to President Putin that we are there to protect every inch of NATO territory,” he said.