tv NATO Secretary General Holds Press Conference on Russian Invasion of Ukraine CSPAN February 25, 2022 8:23pm-8:56pm EST
we just met to address the greatest threat to european security and decades. i invited nato's partners, finland, sweden, and the european union, two our summit, because this crisis affects us all. russia has shattered peace in europe. the people of ukraine are fighting for their freedom in the face of unprovoked invasion. we deplore the tragic loss of lives, enormous human suffering, and destruction. our thoughts are with those killed, injured, and displaced. we call on russia to stop this senseless war. immediately seize its assaults, withdraw all of its forces from ukraine, and turn back to the
path of dialogue and turn away from aggression. the kremlin's objectives are not limited to ukraine. russia has demanded legally binding agreements to announce further nato enlargements, and to remove troops and infrastructure. we are facing a new normal in european security. russia openly contests the european security order and uses force to pursue its objectives. the world will hold russia and belarus accountable for their actions.
russia as the aggressor, belarus as the enabler. president putin's decision to pursue its aggression against ukraine is a terrible strategic mistake. to which russia would pay a severe price for years to come. nato allies and the european union have already introduced significant sanctions. partners around the globe have joined us. we must stand ready to do more, even if it means we have to pay a price, because we are in this for the long haul. at the same time, the russian people must know that the kremlin's more on ukraine will
not make russia more secure. it will not make russia more respected in the world. it will not lead to a better future for your children. in response to russia's massive military buildup over the past months, we have all of the strength -- all already -- we have already strengthened our defense. yesterday, nato allies activated our defense plans. as a result, we are deploying 11 of the nato response force on land, at sea, and in the air. it is to further strengthen our posture and to respond quickly to any contingency. the united states, canada, and european allies have deployed
thousands of troops to the eastern part of the alliance. we have hundreds of jets at high alert operating in over 30 different locations, and 120 ships from the mediterranean, including carrier groups. there must befor miscalculation -- there must be no space for ms. cancellation or misunderstanding. we will do what it takes to protect every ally and every inch of nato territory. leaders today also made clear that we must continue our support to ukraine. the kremlin is trying to make nato and eu provide less support for our partners.
so a collective answer must be more support. to countries like georgia, moldova, and bosnia-herzegovina. to help succeed with the democratic reforms and pursue the paths they have freely chosen. more than ever, this crisis demonstrates the importance of north america and europe standing together in nato. there is no security in europe without a strong transatlantic bond. with that, i am ready to take your questions. >> we will go to al jazeera. reporter: how fearful are you about the possible fall of kyiv? how long, in your estimation, can the government of ukraine last? and if we move to a resistance
insurgency type of situation, what support can nato then give? >> what we see now is a full-fledged invasion of ukraine , from multiple directions, with air, sea, and land capabilities. this is actually in line with what our intelligence services predicted over a long period of time. we see they are moving towards kyiv and we also see the rhetoric, the messages, which are strongly indicating that the aim is to change government and change and remove sec. gen. stoln
close contact with the government of ukraine. we are monitoring the situation very closely. it is still a fluid situation. what we have seen is that the ukrainian forces are fighting bravely and are actually able to inflict damage on the invading russian forces. again, it is a very fluid and evolving situation. nato allies expressed at the summit today that they provide support for ukraine. they are ready to continue to provide support to ukraine. military support, humanitarian support. i think we all have to judge how things evolve, but the message from nato leaders and from finland and sweden is that we are there to support ukraine.
we have supported ukraine for many years. we will continue to support them. reporter: in the current situation which we observed now in ukraine, does nato preserve its right to assist ukraine with defensive equipment? in particular, can we expect nato will provide ukraine with badly needed antiaircraft equipment? thank you so much. sec. gen. stoltenberg: nato allies continued to provide support for ukraine. at the meeting today, the nato summit with eu and finland and allies announced and also informed other allies about the type of weapons, the type of support and some of that will include air defense systems. nato allies had continue to provide support, military but also equipment to ukraine.
they all realize it is evolving and a difficult situation. it is hard to predict what are the possibilities in the future. allies are providing support and are committed to continuing to provide support. reporter: nbc, just behind the camera. thank you, mr. secretary-general. there is concerned nato could get pulled into the conflict of russia shut down electricity or other services in ukraine that could spill over into poland or romania. can you say if a russian cyberattack with trigger in article five collective defense? sec. gen. stoltenberg: we are sending a clear message to russia. we provide support to our partner, ukraine, and many different types of support.
nato helps ukraine with their cyber defenses. for nato allies, we provide security guarantees under the washington treaty, article five. we are clear on this distinction. because it's important to make sure we don't have an even bigger crisis in europe where russia challenges or is threatening or attacking any nato allied country. that is why we are clearly sending a message to protect all of our allies and every inch of nato territory. when it comes to cyber attacks and the risk for accidents, for instance in the black sea, we are pursuing mechanisms of deconfliction to prevent that from happening.
nato allies, especially the united states have done that over a long period of time. we are very focused. i spoke with the nato supreme commander on that issue recently. he is very focused on deconflicting so we avoid a danger situation. on cyber, we have stated cyber attacks can trigger article v. but we have never gone into that position where we give the potential adversary the privilege of finding out when we trigger article v. we are focused on strengthening our cyber defenses. we are aware that is a risk. therefore, we are stepping up both the protection of our cyber networks but also supporting ukraine. we are very focused on the need for deconfliction. >> npr.
reporter: carrie schultz. i want to know about the deployment of the nrf forces. how many will be sent where, from where, how long will it take to get there? thinking about military mobility. also, what has changed in your calculation about the threatened nato territory that has led allies to make the decision to deploy this for the first time in history for the purposes of collective defense? thank you. sec. gen. stoltenberg: what has changed in the last days is there is a full-fledged invasion of a partner country that borders several nato allied countries. this is the most serious security crisis we have faced in europe for decades. we have the nato response force. that is why we are deploying it to prevent any miscalculation or
missed is understanding -- misunderstanding that we are not able to protect allies. this is something all allies have agreed to do. they are close to this fighting in ukraine. they also border russia and have seen not only the military buildup in and the ongoing war ukraine, but also seen the threatening rhetoric. this goes far beyond ukraine. this is about how russia is challenging, contesting core values for our security and demanding nato should withdraw all forces and infrastructure from almost half of our members. i said to them, if you don't do that, if we don't meet their demands, there will be what they call military tactical consequences. we have to take this seriously. that is why we are deploying the
nato response force for the first time in the collective defense context. we will speak about thousands of troops. we speak about air and maritime capabilities. they are part of the standing naval groups. we have many planes operating in eastern parts of the alliance. several allies have partnered -- assigned troops and forces to the nato response force. we have the elements led by france. we have the united states, which has assigned thousands of troops to the nato response force. these will be deployed to different places.
[indiscernible] these are also very much european troops. for instance, the lead element, the joint task force is led by france. there is a strong german component is also a part of that. >> associated press. reporter: just to follow up on that. vjtf can only go to one place and you have a allies extreme you nervous. where might you send it? have you identified a particular weakness on that eastern flank? sec. gen. stoltenberg: you have to understand we have many elements, components of the nato response force. we have increased the nato response force. i don't speak only about the lead element or the joint task force, but we speak about more
elements than just that one. second, we have allies, the united states but also the united kingdom that have increased the readiness of forces that are assigned to nato and the nato response force. these are additional forces we can deploy as part of the broader deployment of the nato response force. i'm not saying we are deploying the whole force. the size of the force has been tripled since 2014 the roughly 40,000 troops. i'm not saying we are deploying the whole thing. we are deploying elements of the vjtf and the rest of the nato response force. it is for security decisions about where the different elements are deployed. we activated those defense plans yesterday. now the elements of this force will be deployed and is being deployed.
>> tv2. reporter: i will follow up on what npr said. how quick can these troops and this force be deployed? sec. gen. stoltenberg: some of these forces are already operating. we have sea and air forces that are part of the nato maritime forces operating from the black sea to the mediterranean. some are air forces. the air component of the nato response force. some of the land forces are also moving in a few days, because they are a part of either the lead element which has already
high readiness. some are already operating because we have increased our presence already. >> we will try to take a couple of questions online. reporter: good afternoon. secretary-general, in the statement released it is said that russians actions are against the founding act and russia has walked away from its commitments under the act. that means that nato now considers the nato-russia founding act is obsolete? or are nato member states still bound by this document? thank you very much.
sec. gen. stoltenberg: nato leaders decided today and stated clearly the fact that russia has walked away. nato-russia founding act is based on core principles enshrined in the founding act. that is, respect to the integrity and sovereignty of all countries, including of course ukraine. this has been violated not once but twice. it has been constantly violated since 2014 with the annexation of crimea and the continued presence of russian forces and russian-backed separatists in eastern ukraine. this was further violated with the invasion of ukraine the last couple of days. so, what we see is that russia shows no respect for the
nato-russia founding act. if you have a founding act between two partners, nato and russia, and one part does not respect that agreement, the agreement does not work. it does not function. it does not help us to improve our relationship with russia. even if the founding act has good provisions and good intentions, if the intentions and provisions in the founding act is not respected, it does not work. that is the reality. the nato-russia founding act does not work, because one side, russia, violated it over many years. now with this extremely blatant and flagrant violation of the founding act with the invasion of ukraine. >> we will take the next question online also from greg from fox. reporter: thank you, mr.
secretary-general. two quick questions. one about war and one about peace. do you agree with intelligence officials that kyiv could fall within the next day or two despite the bravery of the fighting you have cited among ukrainian soldiers? do you see a defeat inevitable if the war goes on? a quick question about the discussion with president zelensky offering to discuss with russia and approach to peace that might include neutrality for ukraine. when you agree to something like that? thank you. sec. gen. stoltenberg: the first situation on the ground, it is a full invasion of ukraine. they are moving towards kyiv. the stated goal is to change the government of ukraine.
it is a very unpredictable situation, therefore i will not speculate, but i will pay my respect to the ukrainian armed forces, which are really proving their bravery and their courage by fighting and standing up against the much larger invading russian force. on potential talks between the government of ukraine, president zelensky and russia, my main message is this is for president zelensky and the government of ukraine to decide. what we need to see now is that russia stops the attack against ukraine. that they withdraw forces and cease all the attacks on ukraine. that is the easiest, fastest and
best way to peace. if they want peace, then stop attacking ukraine. we call on russia to do exactly that. >> ntv. reporter: a twofold question. you are a statistician. with regard to risk, you have evaluated the risk and threat against nato coming from russia. particularly you foresee the playbook of russia. what is the risk that this conflict spreads and what might be the end goal of russia? you have at the tip of your fingers one billion citizens in the trans authentic area. -- transatlantic area.
you met with all the leaders. can you assure the public if there is a genuine threat coming from the aggressive rhetoric of russia, his behavior is not except of. all never states are committed to defendant protect every single centimeter of nato. thank you. sec. gen. stoltenberg: in the meeting today with nato leaders it was a very strong message of unity, a very strong message of resolve, that we need to stand together not only in words, but also deeds. we agreed on a strong statement calling on russia to stop the attacks on ukraine, to withdraw its forces, but also we agreed to continue to provide support to ukraine and also continue to strengthen our presence in the east to prevent any attack on any nato-allied country. we have a defensive presence in the east.
we are increasing our presence not to provoke a conflict, but to prevent a conflict. as long as there is no doubt about nato's readiness to protect and defend allies and our commitment to the core message, the core task of nato, one for all, all for one, an attack on one ally will be regarded as an attack on all, then no ally would be attacked. and that would prevent the conflict. and that would preserve peace for nato allies. that is the reason we communicate so clearly and the reason we are deploying troops in the eastern part of the alliance. to make sure there is no possibility, our readiness to protect and defend our allies. this is to preserve peace, to prevent an attack, and to prevent the war which is going
on in ukraine spill over to any nato-allied country. that was the message from nato leaders today, and that was also the message when i met with many of them in the g7 yesterday, and that is also, of course, message when we speak to close partners, sweden, finland, and the european union. we are all concerned and russia's attack on ukraine is more than an attack on ukraine. it is a devastating, horrendous attack on the innocent people in ukraine. but it is also an attack on the european security order. that is the reason we take it so extremely seriously. >> deutsche welle. reporter: one question on ukraine's request for turkey to close to russian ships.
was that discussed today? one follow-up on the question just asked. we are today from the lithuanian foreign minister that when we use ukraine today, we will be fighting for nato later. you say this statement is exaggerated? thank you. sec. gen. stoltenberg: that was not an issue. on the potential attack or any potential attack on a nato-allied country, that has been my message throughout the whole day. it was the message from the nato leaders in the summit today. that we are there to protect and defend our allies. nato is the strongest military alliance in the world. and make no mistake, we are there to protect and defend our allies and every inch of nato territory. we convey that message again and again, both in words, but also deeds. and that is the way to prevent war, that is the way to prevent an attack, to preserve peace, and we have done so for more
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