NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Biden in Washington on Tuesday and said Russia must lose in Ukraine to send a message to China as the Western alliance increasingly has its eyes on the Asia Pacific.
“President Putin must not win this war, because that will not only be a tragedy for Ukrainians, but also make the world more dangerous,” Stoltenberg said at the White House before a meeting with Biden.
“It will send a message to authoritarian leaders all over the world, also in China, that when they use military force, they get what they want, and we will then become more vulnerable. So it’s our security interest to support Ukraine,” he added.
Stoltenberg’s comments come as NATO is planning to boost ties with countries in the Asia Pacific. According to a report from Nikkei Asia, the alliance is preparing documents to increase relations with its four main partners in the region, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.
NATO will form what is known as an Individually Tailored Partnership Program (ITPP) for each nation, which outlines a road map for collaboration. The Nikkei report said possible areas of cooperation include cybersecurity, space, and fighting so-called disinformation.
NATO also wants to open a liaison office in Japan, but the idea is facing resistance from France. French President Emmanuel Macron believes the alliance should stay in the North Atlantic and has warned against expanding into Asia.