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Stubb calls on NATO to prepare armies for conflict with Russia

Stubb calls on NATO to prepare armies for conflict with Russia President of Finland Alexander Stubb (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Maria Kholina

Finland's President Alexander Stubb has cautioned fellow NATO leaders to temper their hawkish rhetoric towards Russia and instead focus on preparing their armies for potential conflict, according to Financial Times.

Stubb expressed concern that recent public warnings of Russian aggression beyond Ukraine are diverting European countries from what they should truly be concentrating on: immediate assistance to Kyiv and readiness of their armed forces—although he doubts Moscow will attack NATO countries by 2030.

"I'm a little worried by these somewhat belligerent conversations about Russia that it intends to test Article 5 (NATO's collective defense clause), and on whether Europe is next in line. I think we should prepare for that eventuality, but I think it's highly unlikely," Stubb stated.

He urged all European states to "become more Finnish."

"In other words, better prepared. We must prepare for the worst to avoid it," he added.

The Finnish President emphasized that support for Kyiv in the coming months is paramount, as Russian dictator Vladimir Putin "feels very confident" and is aiming for a "window of opportunity" to breach Ukraine's defense by September.

NATO prepares for potential escalations

Earlier, NATO Military Committee Chairman Admiral Rob Bauer said that the alliance requires transformation, and the West must brace for an era where anything can happen at any time, including the onset of war.

His remarks come against the backdrop of delays or restrictions in military aid to Ukraine from the United States and the European Union.

On January 16, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Western wavering in support for Kyiv and fears of escalation with Russia could prolong hostilities for years.