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The West is facing an authoritarian alliance, says Stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg - NATO

Jens Stoltenberg - NATO

The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has said that NATO is facing an alliance of authoritarian powers, which, as he said, is working closely against Western countries. He mentioned countries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, which he said are more and more aligned. Speaking about the war in Ukraine, the head of NATO has said that Ukraine may have to make concessions in the end

 An "alliance of authoritarian powers" is working more closely together against Western democracies, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned.

In an interview for "Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg", Stoltenberg said that Russia, Iran, China and North Korea are increasingly aligned.

He has expressed his belief that the NATO allies will agree on a long-term funding agreement for Ukraine by July. But he added that Ukraine may have to decide on some kind of "compromise".

Regarding the conflict in the Middle East, Stoltenberg has said that it is "very important" that the United States of America and other NATO countries convey "a very clear message to Israel" that it must do " significantly more” to protect civilians and aid workers after the attack on the convoy of World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers. 

Stoltenberg took the leadership of NATO, the Western defense alliance, 10 years ago. Speaking to mark the organization's 75th anniversary, he said the world is now "much more dangerous, much more unpredictable and much more violent".

He has said that there is an "authoritarian" alliance whose members give each other practical support that is "more and more aligned".

"China is supporting the Russian war economy, providing key parts in the defense industry, and in return, Moscow is mortgaging its future to Beijing," Stoltenberg said.

Russia is providing technology to Iran and North Korea in exchange for ammunition and military equipment, he said.

Stoltenberg has stated that NATO had to work with other countries beyond its own geography - such as Japan and South Korea, to "stand against this stronger alliance of authoritarian powers".

The NATO chief has been trying to persuade other countries to give more money to the war effort in Ukraine in recent days in hopes of a five-year fund of 100 billion euros. He has said he is confident a deal could be reached by July, despite some countries expressing reluctance this week.

"Long-term support is vital now, and to rebuild the country after the conflict. Even if we believe and hope that the war will end in the near future, we must support Ukraine for many years, to build up its defenses, to prevent future aggression", said the head of NATO. 

While he has said that military support is vital to push Russian forces out of Ukraine and force Putin to abandon his goals of occupation, Stoltenberg has also stressed that Ukraine may eventually have to make concessions as well.

"At the end of the day, it should be Ukraine that decides what kind of compromises it is willing to make." We must enable them to be in a position where they actually reach an acceptable result at the negotiation table", Stoltenberg said.

He added that he was not calling for Ukraine to offer concessions now and stated that "real peace" would be achievable when "Ukraine triumphs". 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has always been adamant that he would never negotiate with Putin, despite several calls for him to do so, including calls from the Pope.

Stoltenberg declined to say whether he was concerned about Donald Trump's possible return to the White House, saying he was confident the US would continue to be an important ally no matter who leads. But his remarks about how powers around the world are working together are a reminder to Western leaders that they need to get their diplomacy together.

More than two years after the conflict in Ukraine, politicians must face the reality that what is happening there is affected by decisions not only in Moscow and Kiev, but also in Washington DC, Brussels and London, as well as in Beijing, Tehran and even even in Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, six months after the Middle East conflict in Gaza, as the BBC writes, the solutions are influenced by the decisions not only of the Israelis and Palestinians, but also of the Iranians, politicians in the US, the Gulf States and the United Kingdom.