NATO: prepare for a long war in Ukraine

In words which could prove of lasting consequence to the specialty market, the head of NATO has warned that the war in Ukraine could last for years.

“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine,” Jens Stoltenberg, (above)  the secretary-general of the military alliance, was quoted as saying over the weekend.

Stoltenberg added that the supply of state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops would boost the chance of freeing its eastern region of Donbas from Russian control, according to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

 “Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices.”

S&P Global Ratings has previously said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will add uncertainty and intensify earnings volatility across global reinsurers’ specialty lines such as war risk, political violence and cyber risk.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited Kyiv on Friday, also spoke of a need to prepare for a long war in an op-ed.

This meant ensuring “Ukraine receives weapons, equipment, ammunition and training more rapidly than the invader”, Johnson wrote in the UK’s Sunday Times.

“Time is the vital factor,” he wrote. “Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack.”

Ukraine received a significant boost on Friday when the European Commission recommended it for candidate status, a decision EU nations are expected to endorse at a summit this week.

That would put Ukraine on course to realise an aspiration seen as out of reach before Russia’s February 24 invasion, even if attaining membership could take years.