The West must brace itself for years of assistance for Ukraine, according to Nato’s head.
According to Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the costs of war are considerable, but the cost of allowing Moscow to achieve its military objectives is much higher.
His remarks came as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of the dangers of a longer-term battle.
Both Mr. Stoltenberg and Mr. Johnson stated that supplying additional weaponry would increase the likelihood of a Ukrainian victory.
“We must prepare for the possibility that it will take years. We must not relent in our support for Ukraine “According to the Nato head in an interview with the German tabloid Bild.
“Even if the expenses are enormous, not only for military assistance, but also for rising energy and food prices.”
According to the head of the Western military alliance, providing Ukraine with more modern weaponry would boost its prospects of liberating the country’s eastern Donbas area, part of which is now under Russian control.
Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have been fighting for control of land in the country’s east for several months, with Moscow making gradual progress in recent weeks.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused Russia’s Vladimir Putin of waging a “war of attrition” and “seeking to grind down Ukraine by pure violence” in the Sunday Times.
“I’m afraid we’ll have to prepare for a lengthy conflict,” he added. “The most important aspect is time. Everything hinges on Ukraine’s ability to build its defences quicker than Russia can renew its offensive capabilities.”
On a visit to Ukraine’s capital on Friday, the prime minister stated that supply of weaponry, equipment, ammunition, and training to Kyiv were required to outrun Moscow’s efforts to re-arm itself.
Ukrainian leaders have been forthright in recent days about the necessity to increase the country’s stock of heavy weaponry if Russian forces are to be repelled.
Oleksiy Resnikov, the country’s defence minister, met with the Ukraine Defence Contact Group in Brussels on Wednesday to request more weaponry and ammunition.
So far, the country’s Western allies have supplied significant weaponry supplies, but Ukraine claims it has barely gotten a quarter of what it requires to protect itself and is requesting heavier weapons.
Russian officials often criticise Nato military backing for Ukraine, and the country’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, highlighted the likelihood of Ukraine joining the Western alliance as a cause for the invasion in the first place in an interview with the BBC last week.
“We proclaimed a special military operation because there was no other way to communicate to the West that pulling Ukraine into Nato was a criminal act,” Mr Lavrov told the BBC.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, despite its professed desire to join there is no timeframe for this.