NATO secretary general says Ukraine 'can win this war' with more international help — but some experts warn support could run out soon
NATO's secretary general said he believes internationalhelp could help Ukrainewin the war.
- However, experts say tough sanctions on Russian oil and gas will help "strangle"
NATO's secretary general said Russia's setbacks indicate that Ukraine could win the war, but not without additional international help.
"Russia's war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned," Jens Stoltenberg said by video link during a NATO meeting in Berlin on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. "They failed to take Kyiv. They are pulling back from around Kharkiv. Their major offensive in Donbas has stalled. Russia is not achieving its strategic objectives."
"Ukraine can win this war," he said.
However, some experts say they are skeptical if there would be a clear winner to the war and are unsure how much longer international support for Ukraine will last.
Robert English, an associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California, told Insider late last month that if the West continues to help Ukraine — whether through financial means or by imposing tougher sanctions — he expects support may eventually decrease due to economic strain as the war drags on.
According to English, if the West "really wants to strangle Russia," and "really wants to cut off the money that's financing this war" they have to stop buying oil and gas from the country — an effort that has thus far been minimal.
The G7 countries, which include Germany, a heavy dependent on Russian energy, recently vowed to phase out or ban imports of Russian oil.
These measures are likely to make living conditions difficult, even if just temporarily, in Western European countries that now need to find other energy sources.
"Even if Germany, Austria, Italy, and only a few other countries went into a deep recession, that will in turn trigger a broader recession all across the EU," English said. "What's notable to me is that the Europeans, the West has the power to cut off Russia's war, but they can't do it because it would hurt them too much."
The cost that would be absorbed by Europeans may push them to regret their support of Ukraine, which could hinder political support from their governments.
"It's not that a German leader or an Italian leader doesn't think that their people could withstand six months of rationing or privations. They're just afraid that they voted out in the meantime," English said.
William Ruger, president of the American Institute for Economic Research, told Insider that it would be smart for both countries to negotiate an end to the war, and ultimately foresees one of two outcomes.
"One is that both sides believe that they will be better off negotiating at the table and finding a path forward that way than to continuing to fight. But, as long as one side believes that it has an advantage in remaining in the fight, and that it's expected utility going forward will outmatch the costs, then we'll continue to see a struggle," Ruger said.
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