Lavrov likens Western policy to Hitler’s “Final Solution”
The White House chastised Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday for saying the U.S. had formed a coalition of European nations to solve “the Russian question” like Hitler did to exterminate Jews in Europe.
“How dare he compare anything to the Holocaust, anything. Let alone a war that they started,” said White House National Security spokesman John Kirby, according to Reuters.
Last year, Lavrov said Washington was trying to enslave Europe to destroy Russia.
“They are waging war against our country with the same task: the ‘final solution’ of the Russian question” through Ukraine, Lavrov said.
Western politicians “clearly say Russia must suffer a strategic defeat,” like Hitler wanted a “final solution” to the Jewish question. Lavrov’s remarks drew significant criticism.
“It’s almost so absurd that it’s not worth responding to,” Kirby said. “Other than the truly offensive manner in which he tried to cast us in terms of Hitler and the Holocaust.”
NATO’s Leader Wants Ukraine’s Arms Raised
On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine needs a “significant increase” in weapons to negotiate a peaceful solution.
“This is a pivotal moment in the war and the need for a significant increase in support for Ukraine. If we want a negotiated peaceful solution tomorrow we need to provide more weapons today,” Stoltenberg said, as Reuters reported from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Stoltenberg said Ukraine’s Western backers would meet to discuss supplying heavier and more advanced weapons to help the war-torn country fight Russia. Ramstein Air Base in Germany will host the Ukraine Contact Group Thursday and Friday, according to ABC News.
In Ramstein, the question will be whether Germany will let allied countries transfer its Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine. Stoltenberg said consultations were ongoing but welcomed Britain’s Challenger tank deployment to Kyiv.
Britain pledged a squadron of 14 Challengers this week, pressuring Berlin, but the Leopards are best for Ukraine’s large tank force.
Kyiv hopes that new Western weapons, particularly heavy tanks, will provide its troops with greater mobility and protection as they push through Russian lines in the east and south this year.
Stoltenberg said Ukraine needed tanks, air defense systems, armor, ammunition, spare parts, and maintenance for its weapons.
NATO Looks Toward ‘Long Haul’ in Ukraine
NATO’s deputy secretary general told European military chiefs on Wednesday that Russia is preparing for a long war, so NATO must be ready “for the long haul” and support Ukraine.
Mircea Geoana said nations in NATO must invest more in defense, military-industrial manufacturing, and new technologies to prepare for future wars. NATO chiefs will discuss how allies can increase weapons, training, and support for Ukraine and strengthen their defenses as Russia’s war on Ukraine approaches a year.
“We have no indication that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s goals have changed,” said Geoana. “So we must be prepared for the long haul. 2023 will be a difficult year and we need to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”