NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the war in Ukraine will not have a quick end, in an interview published this Sunday.

“Most wars last longer than expected at the time they started,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with the German media group Funke. “Therefore, we must prepare for a long war in Ukraine.”

The conflict began in February 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine. Kiev launched a counteroffensive in June to try to recover the invaded territories in the east and south of the country, a campaign in which very gradual progress has been made so far.

“We all want peace quickly,” Stoltenberg continued, “but at the same time we must recognize that if President Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist.” “If President Putin and Russia lay down their arms, then we will have peace,” he added.

Jens Stoltenberg also addressed the Ukrainian aspiration to join the Atlantic Alliance, stating that “there is no doubt that Ukraine will sooner or later join NATO.” “When this war ends, we need security guarantees for Ukraine. Otherwise, history could repeat itself,” he also said.

At the Alliance’s last summit, last July in Lithuania, NATO leaders agreed that Ukraine could join once a series of conditions are met.

The United States and Germany specified that these include the need for Ukraine to carry out reforms to protect democracy and the rule of law.