News ID: 106729
Publish Date : 09 September 2022 - 21:58


Stoltenberg also said that NATBRUSSELS (Dispatches) -- European Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni is warning of an economic downturn in the coming months, saying “the coming winter could be one of the worst in history”.
In some countries, energy rationing may become necessary and new aid packages may ultimately be unavoidable, Gentiloni said in an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel on Thursday.
“The current inflation will throw our economy into turmoil, and the coming winter could be one of the worst in history,” he said.
The senior EU official also hinted at the need for some EU counties to ration gas consumption.
“It depends on what decisions Russian President Vladimir Putin makes and how we ourselves behave. It is already necessary to save energy, although we see good progress in how gas storage facilities are being filled and energy is saved.”
European Central Bank (ECB) president Christine Lagarde confirmed that if gas prices continue to “skyrocket”, the European countries will fall into recession.
One of the scenarios being envisaged by the ECB is gas rationing across the whole euro area and a recession in 2023, she noted.
The eurozone inflation is poised to be 9.1 percent in August, up from 8.9 percent in July, according to Eurostat data, as prices rise at the highest pace for half a century.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Thursday that Ukraine and its supporters face a tough winter in coming months.
“We need at least to be prepared for this winter, because there is no sign of Russia giving up its goal of taking control of Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told The Associated Press on the sidelines of a U.S.-led Ukraine backers meeting in Ramstein, southwest Germany.
While Ukraine has sought weapons and ammunition, it now needs winter equipment. During Thursday’s meeting, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said her country would deliver electricity-generating equipment, tents and other material. But more is needed.
“Winter’s coming, and winter’s going to be hard on the battlefield in Ukraine. We know that the size of the Ukrainian army is now roughly three times as big as what it was last winter,” Stoltenberg said. “They are in urgent need for more winter uniforms, for generators that create electricity, warmth, and also of course tents and other things that can help them through the winter.”
O is working with the defense industry to explore ways to boost arms production to better meet Ukraine’s needs and replenish the arsenals of allies who have been providing all kinds of weapons and military systems.
Turning to U.S., Canadian and European publics suffering under high energy prices, inflation and concerns about food supplies, Stoltenberg urged them to keep the faith, saying that the price of ending support now would be a price that’s too high to pay.
“I understand that many people are frustrated and actually feel the pain in NATO countries with increasing energy prices, the cost of living. But at the same time, we have to remember that the price we pay is measured in money, in U.S. dollars or pounds or euros, while the price that Ukrainians are paying is measured in lives lost every day,” he said.
Stoltenberg wouldn’t be drawn on how long the conflict might run for, but he said that it will end at some point, at the negotiating table.
“If President Putin and Russia stop fighting, then we will have peace. If Ukraine stops fighting, then Ukraine will cease to exist as an independent nation. So therefore, we need to continue to provide support,” he said.
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made a surprise visit to Kyiv as Washington approved $2.7 billion in military aid to Ukraine and its allies.
Since the onset of Moscow’s operation, the US and its European allies have imposed an array of unprecedented sanctions against Russia and poured numerous batches of advanced weapons in Ukraine to help its military fend off the Russian forces. The Kremlin has always warned such measures will only prolong the war.
The latest package includes $675 million to be sent shortly in arms, ammunition and supplies, $1 billion in longer-term loans and grants for Kyiv to purchase more American equipment and an equivalent amount for purchases by neighboring countries deemed “threatened” by Russia.
Washington has already authorized $4 billion in loans and grants to Ukraine and its neighbors in the fiscal year that ended in June.

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