News

NATO Secretary General Reveals What Will Happen If Russia Uses Chemical Weapons In Ukraine

   DailyWire.com
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 17: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press meeting ahead of a joint meeting with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the Federal Foreign Office on March 17, 2022 in Berlin, Germany.
Andreas Gora – Pool/Getty Images

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told NBC News on Sunday that if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine, it would be a “blatant and brutal violation of international law,” but it may not be enough to elicit a response from NATO.

“Allies support Ukraine, but at the same time, it is extremely important that we prevent this conflict becoming a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia because that will cause much more damage, much more death, destruction than what we see now in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. “Russia is a nuclear power. President Putin is now conveying very dangerous nuclear rhetoric. And therefore, we are supporting Ukraine, but at the same time significantly increasing the military presence with the troops on land, at sea, and in the air. Germany and the U.K. have doubled their presence in the Baltic countries, in their battle groups there. The U.S. has now 100,000 troops there in Europe. And there are tens of thousands of troops in the eastern part alliance to send a message that escalation beyond Ukraine will be met with a very firm response from the whole alliance. And by doing that, we are preventing a conflict, not provoking a conflict in Europe at the moment.”

When asked if Russia using chemical weapons would be enough to get NATO to rethink its current position, he responded, “Our core responsibility is to protect one billion people living in 30 different NATO allied countries, and we are doing that by increasing the presence in the eastern part of the alliance.”

NBC’s Chuck Todd responded, “It does sound like what you’re saying is you don’t have an answer yet on what the use of chemical weapons would do to NATO’s stance about Ukraine.”

“So any use of chemical weapons will be a blatant and brutal violation of international law, the ban on the use of chemical weapons,” Stoltenberg responded. “At the same time, we know that Russia has used chemical agents in Europe before against their own political opponents. And they – Russia has been facilitating, supporting the Assad regime in Syria, where chemical weapons has been used. So this is something we take extremely serious. But at the same time, again, we are not – we are very much aware that we need to act in a way that prevents this conflict from going from being a very bloody, ugly, horrific conflict in Ukraine, to something that turns out to be a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia in Europe and also potentially involving, of course, the United States directly. That would be extremely dangerous, and that is exactly what we need to prevent.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

CHUCK TODD: And joining me now from Brussels is the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. He will be hosting all of the NATO leaders, including President Biden, on Tuesday for an in-person leaders meeting. Mr. Secretary General, welcome to Meet the Press.

JENS STOLTENBERG: Thank you so much for having me.

CHUCK TODD: Let me start with the status of peace talks. How serious have they become, and what role is Turkey playing? You heard our report there from my colleague Richard Engel that they’re taking a bigger role in this. What can you tell us, sir?

JENS STOLTENBERG: So first of all, we have to remember that this is President Putin’s war, and he can end it now. And that’s what all NATO allies call on Russia to do. Then, of course, we welcome all efforts to find a negotiated, peaceful solution. I visited Turkey a few days ago, met with President Erdoğan, and Turkey is doing some real efforts to try to facilitate support, talks between Russia and Ukraine. But it’s far too early to say whether these or other talks can lead to any concrete outcome.

CHUCK TODD: We’ve seen an increased targeting of civilians, Mr. Secretary General, in Ukraine. How long can NATO stand by and watch Russia target civilians without finding a way to help more when it comes to the Ukrainian resistance?

JENS STOLTENBERG: NATO allies are stepping up their support to Ukraine, partly by delivering military support, humanitarian support, and billions of financial support to Ukraine. And then, of course, we imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia to ensure that they are paying – President Putin is paying a high price for this totally unjustified, senseless war against an independent sovereign nation, Ukraine. And let me also remind you of the fact that NATO allies have actually trained and supported Ukrainian armed forces for years, trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian forces, Special Operation Forces, command and control, logistics. And all of this proves extremely important now. These troops are on the frontline fighting against the invading Russian troops. So the support allies have provided over many years proves now to have been extremely important.

CHUCK TODD: If there’s a peace deal that gives Russia a piece of Ukraine, essentially, are you concerned that that will reward Russia for this aggression?

JENS STOLTENBERG: Ukraine is an independent, sovereign nation, and I have full trust in President Zelensky and the government in making the right judgments of what kind of peace talks they should engage in and what kind of agreements they can agree to. Our responsibility is to support Ukraine, as we do in many different ways, but also ensure that this conflict will not spiral out of control or – or expands and escalate beyond Ukraine. That’s also the reason why we have significantly increased our major presence in the eastern part of the alliance.

CHUCK TODD: I want to ask you about Tuesday’s meeting and the agenda. First thing, have you invited President Zelensky to attend remotely?

JENS STOLTENBERG: We haven’t yet decided on the exact format of that summit. It will take place on Thursday, next week, with President Biden and all the other leaders. I’m in regular contact and NATO ally leaders are in regular contact with President Zelensky. And I think the meeting of all heads of state and government in NATO will provide us with yet another platform to demonstrate our unity, our support to Ukraine, but also our readiness to protect and defend all NATO allies. And by sending that message, we are preventing an escalation of the conflict to a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia. And I would also like to commend and thank President Biden and the U.S. administration for their leadership throughout this crisis. They warned against this as early as last fall. And then the increased presence of U.S. troops in Europe is something which is, of course, very much welcomed by all allies.

CHUCK TODD: You know, back in the mid-90s, there was a lot of talk – NATO was not going to intervene in what was happening in Central Europe until the humanitarian crisis got so bad that NATO ended up getting involved. Is a no-fly zone forever off the table in Ukraine? Or would the use of chemical weapons make NATO rethink?

JENS STOLTENBERG: Allies support Ukraine, but at the same time, it is extremely important that we prevent this conflict becoming a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia because that will cause much more damage, much more death, destruction than what we see now in Ukraine. Russia is a nuclear power. President Putin is now conveying very dangerous nuclear rhetoric. And therefore, we are supporting Ukraine, but at the same time significantly increasing the military presence with the troops on land, at sea, and in the air. Germany and the U.K. have doubled their presence in the Baltic countries, in their battle groups there. The U.S. has now 100,000 troops there in Europe. And there are tens of thousands of troops in the eastern part alliance to send a message that escalation beyond Ukraine will be met with a very firm response from the whole alliance. And by doing that, we are preventing a conflict, not provoking a conflict in Europe at the moment.

CHUCK TODD: Russia’s use of chemical weapons, would that be considered though an escalation on his part that would make NATO rethink?

JENS STOLTENBERG: Our core responsibility is to protect one billion people living in 30 different NATO allied countries. And we are doing that by increasing the presence in the eastern part of the alliance. I also believe that, regardless of how this conflict now ends, we are faced with a new reality, a new security reality, where Russia more openly contests core values for our security and are willing to use military force to achieve its objectives. And therefore, we need to reset our deterrence and defense. And one of the issues we will start to discuss at the upcoming summit of NATO leaders next week in Brussels is how we do the more long term adaptation and the long term reset of deterrence and defense.

CHUCK TODD: All right. It does sound like what you’re saying is you don’t have an answer yet on what the use of chemical weapons would do to NATO’s stance about Ukraine.

JENS STOLTENBERG: So any use of chemical weapons will be a blatant and brutal violation of international law, the ban on the use of chemical weapons. At the same time, we know that Russia has used chemical agents in Europe before against their own political opponents. And they – Russia has been facilitating, supporting the Assad regime in Syria, where chemical weapons has been used. So this is something we take extremely serious. But at the same time, again, we are not – we are very much aware that we need to act in a way that prevents this conflict from going from being a very bloody, ugly, horrific conflict in Ukraine, to something that turns out to be a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia in Europe and also potentially involving, of course, the United States directly. That would be extremely dangerous, and that is exactly what we need to prevent.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  NATO Secretary General Reveals What Will Happen If Russia Uses Chemical Weapons In Ukraine