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Taiwan could become the next Ukraine: NATO secretary-general

Jens Stoltenberg says Russian victory could embolden China

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. (Reuters photo)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — What happened to Ukraine could happen to Taiwan next, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference on Monday (Jan. 29).

Speaking to reporters, Stoltenberg said, “What happens in Europe matters for Asia. What happens in Asia matters for Europe and today, it's Ukraine tomorrow, it can be Taiwan.”

He said Russian President Vladimir Putin would “make the world more dangerous and us all of us more insecure," according to a NATO press release. It would encourage other authoritarian leaders, including those in North Korea, Iran, and China, to use force, he said.

Therefore, it is in NATO’s interest to make sure Ukraine maintains its sovereignty, the secretary-general said. “The support we are providing is making a difference,” he said, pointing to the continuous flow of ammunition and weapons from NATO allies.

The Ukrainians were able to repel Russian troops and have liberated 50% of Russian-occupied territory, Stoltenberg said. Heavy losses have been inflicted on the Russian military, with more than 300 thousand casualties, and hundreds of aircraft and thousands of armored vehicles destroyed, he added.

Stoltenberg mentioned that he would visit a factory in Alabama that produces Javelin missiles on Wednesday (Jan. 31) “to recognize the importance of ramping up production.”

NATO previously considered establishing a liaison office in Tokyo amid increasing tensions in the Indo-Pacific, especially in the Taiwan Strait. However, a sentence regarding continued talks was removed from a joint statement following a NATO summit in July.