NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg, responding to accusations of Western double standards, said on Tuesday that international law had to apply in all conflicts but the wars in Ukraine and Gaza were very different, writes Reuters.
Arab leaders have accused Western countries of failing to apply the same standards to Israel’s war in Gaza, launched in response to the deadly Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas, as they have applied to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Asked about the issue, Stoltenberg said: “My message is that international law, humanitarian law, has to be respected in all conflicts and civilian lives have always to be protected”.
Speaking at a press conference at the transatlantic military alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Stoltenberg said it was also “important to recognise that the situation in Gaza and the situation in Ukraine is different in many ways”.
“Ukraine never posed a threat to Russia, Ukraine never attacked Russia. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was an unprovoked invasion, a full-scale invasion, of another country. So, of course, Ukraine has the right to self - defence against an unprovoked attack and to uphold territorial integrity”, - he said.