Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz today rejected calls for the alliance to intervene in Ukraine militarily, citing fears that to do so would further escalate the conflict.
Stoltenberg and Scholz met in Berlin, soon after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to the Bundestag via video-link, in which he told German lawmakers that their help had come too late to stop the war, and he criticised Germany’s government for its remaining economic ties with Russia.
In the opening remarks of the meeting between Scholz and Stoltenberg, the German Chancellor praised Zelensky for his “impressive words”, but insisted that western countries would not get directly involved in the war.
“One thing must also be made clear: NATO will not intervene militarily in this war”, Scholz asserted, echoing Stoltenberg’s earlier statements the same day to similar effect. Upon meeting the German Chancellor, the NATO head emphasised the alliance’s goal in the conflict is to make it less volatile.
“NATO has a responsibility to prevent this conflict from escalating further”, Stoltenberg said. “That would be even more dangerous and cause more suffering, deaths and destruction.”
Stoltenberg lavished praise on Berlin for its role in the military alliance, and for the help it already provided to Kiev. “Germany is at the heart of Europe and at the heart of the trans-Atlantic alliance”, he declared.
The NATO chief also praised Germany for having determined to amend its policy of under-spending on defence, in reference to Scholz’s announced plans to invest more than 100 billion euro in the German military and to raise annual spending on defence to more than 2% of the country’s GDP.