Ukraine: Olaf Scholz and NATO chief Stoltenberg rule out military intervention

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday, as the war in Ukraine entered its fourth week. The meeting came just after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the German Bundestag via video link.

 Provided by DW NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and Chancellor Olaf Scholz met in Berlin ahead of an upcoming European summit

Scholz opened his remarks alongside Stoltenberg by praising Zelenskyy for his “impressive words.” But the German leader reiterated NATO’s refusal to intervene militarily in Ukraine.

“One thing must also be made clear: NATO will not intervene militarily in this war,” Scholz said.

Scholz’s view matched statements repeated by Stoltenberg on Thursday that the military alliance’s involvement in Ukraine would increase the likelihood of the war spreading. In Berlin, the NATO chief said the alliance’s job is to deescalate the conflict.

“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.”

Ukraine has repeatedly called for help from Europe and NATO. In particular, Kyiv has called for a no-fly zone. Lithuania’s parliament unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the no-fly zone over Ukraine, joining countries including Estonia and Slovenia in the appeal.

NATO praise for Germany

Additionally, the head of the military alliance praised Germany for its central role in NATO.

“Germany is at the heart of Europe and at the heart of the transatlantic alliance,” Stoltenberg said upon arrival in Berlin, adding that German leadership is crucial in the current crisis between Europe and Russia.

“I commend Germany for providing Ukraine with many types of support,” the NATO chief said, highlighting that Germany has given Ukraine military, humanitarian and political support, as well as welcomed a share of Ukrainian refugees.

He also commended Berlin for its “political courage” to change a long-standing policy of under-investment in defense, choosing to spend 2% of GDP on defense spending and announcing the purchase of F-35 fighter jets.

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