NATO Leader Tells Europe to 'Stop Complaining' and Help Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reportedly urged a legislative body of the European Union to "stop complaining" and take action to support Ukraine during the ongoing war with Russia.

While speaking about the European Parliament, Stoltenberg said that EU member states should all want to financially support the country as it fends off attacks from Russian President Vladimir Putin's army, according to the Kyiv Post.

"The price we pay as the European Union, as NATO, is the price we can measure in currency, in money," he said. "The price [Ukrainians] pay is measured in lives lost every day."

Stoltenberg, who has been NATO's secretary general since 2014, added: "We should stop complaining and step up and provide support, full stop."

The Post article, which was published Tuesday, did not specify when and where Stoltenberg made these comments, and Newsweek was not immediately able to confirm those details. NATO was contacted to verify the date and context of the secretary general's remarks.

Since Putin's army invaded Ukraine on February 24, the EU has passed six packages of sanctions against Russia, with the latest including a ban on 90 percent of Russian crude oil imports. In May, the EU proposed offering a loan of 9 billion euros, about $9.5 billion, in financial assistance to Ukraine, Reuters reported, but this has yet to be finalized.

NATO Urges Europe to Help Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reportedly urged a legislative body of the European Union to "stop complaining" and take action to support Ukraine during the ongoing war with Russia. Above, Stoltenberg holds a press conference at the NATO Summit on June 29, in Madrid. Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The Corrierre della Sera, an Italian newspaper, reported on July 10 that "various protagonists both in Kyiv and in Brussels" had "confirmed" that Germany had been blocking the package for more than a month. Newsweek reached out to Germany's European Parliament office in Berlin for verification and comment.

While urging the European Parliament to "stop complaining" and provide the financial aid to Ukraine, Stoltenberg stressed that not helping Ukraine could put Europe in peril down the road.

"It is in our interest to help Ukraine because you have to understand that if Ukraine loses this, that's a danger for us," the Post quoted him as saying. "If you don't care about the moral aspect of this, supporting the people of Ukraine, you should care about your own security interests.

"Pay for the support, pay for the humanitarian aid, pay the consequences of the economic sanctions, because the alternative is to pay a much higher price later on," Stoltenberg added.

The European Union granted Ukraine candidate status last month, but it may be some time before the war-torn country becomes an official member of the bloc.

Newsweek reached out to NATO and the European Parliament for comment.