NATO chief candidate has warned that Russia will not stop in Ukraine even if it loses the war

Defends a revolution in European security and focuses on Russia's new strategy

The Latvian foreign minister and candidate for the NATO leadership said Friday that the West must rethink its long-term strategy for dealing with Moscow, regardless of the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine.

“Russia is not only a problem for Ukraine, but after the war in Ukraine, it is a danger for all of Europe. If Ukraine regains its territory, Russia will be a threat. This means that we have to change our thinking for a long time,” warned Kriszjanis Karis in an interview with a North American newspaper. Financial Times.

The minister argues that even if Ukraine wins the war and regains its entire territory, Moscow will continue to represent a threat to the alliance and the continent as it maintains an ideology fueled by imperialism.

“Russia won't stop, only Russia can be stopped. Stopping Russia in Ukraine doesn't mean it's over. It means we have to continue. This is what's important for NATO: we have to work on a long-term strategy to contain Russia,” he argues.

For Kariss, a minister from a Baltic country, Russia presents itself as an existential threat. Along with Estonia, Lithuania and Finland, these countries border Russia and were once part of its sphere of influence. For this reason, these countries are significantly increasing their defense budgets. Latvia aims to spend 3% of GDP on defense by 2027, which is higher than the 2% recommended by NATO.

But the minister argues that the Atlantic alliance's problems also include restructuring the European defense sector, which has proven unable to meet the demands of the high-intensity war it is experiencing in Ukraine. In addition to productivity, NATO countries must ensure the “mobility” of their weapons.

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It's a fact that Kariņš says must be addressed, regardless of the outcome of the war. “Once the war is over, the war machine will start rebuilding itself. They will try to provoke and create difficulties in their boundaries. We know. On NATO's part, we must guarantee that the probability of any incidents is simply negated, through our determination, through our investments in defense,” he reiterates.

The minister insists it's time to focus on Putin's strategy rather than giving up on Ukraine. Currently, Kariņš says, the Kremlin wants to undermine Western confidence in a Ukrainian victory by sowing suspicion between states, thereby cutting off military and financial aid. “Putin is trying to sow suspicion among us”, but the candidate for the NATO leadership says that will not happen. On the contrary. “Putin has managed to revive NATO. So far we are dealing with all the issues related to Ukraine,” he emphasized.

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