NATO-Ukraine Council Looks to Speed Aid to Besieged Country

Russia will never defeat Ukraine
By Jim Garamone

Ukrainian leaders briefed NATO defense ministers about the situation on the battlefield and the country’s critical needs during a remote meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council today.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg briefed the news media at NATO headquarters in Brussels on the council meeting, saying NATO will speed more air defenses and artillery to the beleaguered country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the ministers about the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III attended the meeting virtually.

“NATO defense ministers have agreed to step up and provide further military support, including more air defense,” Stoltenberg said. “NATO has mapped out existing capabilities across the alliance and there are systems that can be made available to Ukraine. I expect new announcements on air defense capabilities for Ukraine soon.” Last week, Germany indicated that they will deliver an additional Patriot system to Ukraine. “In addition to Patriots, there are other weapons that allies can provide,” the secretary general said.

Spotlight: NATO

NATO allies who do not have systems agreed to provide financial support to purchase them for Ukraine, he said. “We are also working with industry to ramp up production and to refurbish systems to make them operational and fit for purpose,” Stoltenberg said.

Denmark has also made a new pledge to aid Ukraine, and the Netherlands has announced an additional 4 billion euros in military support.

The NATO defense ministers also addressed other pressing Ukrainian needs, such as 155 mm ammunition, deep-precision strike capabilities and drones. “Each NATO ally will decide what to provide,” he said. “Several allies made concrete commitments during the meeting and are finalizing contributions that I expect will be announced soon. Help is already on the way.”

Stoltenberg welcomed the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to vote on U.S. aid to Ukraine. The vote is scheduled for Saturday.

“I count on the bill to pass without further delay,” the secretary general said. “Allies must dig deep into their inventories and speed up the delivery of missiles, artillery and ammunition. Ukraine is using the weapons we provided to destroy Russian combat capabilities. This makes us all safer.”

The NATO leader said support to Ukraine is not charity, but “an investment in our own security.”

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