Read also: NATO puts more military at higher state of readiness, says Stoltenberg
According to the Secretary General, Putin underestimated the courage of the Ukrainian people, just as he underestimated the unity and determination of Ukraine’s allies and NATO partners to help the country repel Moscow’s invasion.
“He thought he could defeat Ukraine in a matter of days,” said Stoltenberg.
Read also: NATO’s Stoltenberg “impressed” by Ukrainian troops training in UK
“Nine months later, Russia continues to face setback after setback. And the Ukrainians continue to liberate their territory from occupation. Most recently – Kherson.”
At the same time, the official warned against underestimat ing Russia, which retains a significant military potential and a large number of troops.
Stoltenberg noted that NATO countries should be ready to support Ukraine in the long term, even though support has its price.
Read also: NATO chief urges alliance states to ramp up weapons production to continue support for Ukraine
“But the price we pay as NATO Allies is measured in money,” he added.
“While the Ukrainians, they pay a price which is measured in blood. And if we allow Putin to win, all of us will have to pay a much higher price. Authoritarian regimes around the world will learn that they can get what they want with brute force.”
Read also: Putin’s aim is to leave Ukraine cold, dark this winter, says Stoltenberg
At the end of October, Stoltenberg said that NATO needs to increase military assistance to Ukraine to ensure the country can fight through the coming winter.
Earlier, Stoltenberg said that NATO has expended a significant part of its stocks and should increase ramp up weapons and ammunition production.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine