NATO Secretary General welcomes Allies' new pledges of support for Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday (11 October 2023) welcomed Allies' new pledges of support for Ukraine as Russia is “preparing once again to use winter as a weapon of war.”
Speaking after the first NATO-Ukraine Council at ministerial level, Mr Stoltenberg said NATO would provide more cold weather clothing, demining capabilities, fuel, and medical equipment “to help Ukraine weather another difficult winter.” Allies discussed Ukraine’s priorities on its path to NATO membership, including long-term interoperability with NATO and defence procurement.
Summing up the outcomes of a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a group of over 50 countries that support Ukraine, Mr Stoltenberg welcomed announcements by Allies to provide further aid to Ukraine, including F-16 jets and training, as well as air defences, ammunition, and demining equipment.
“Your fight is our fight, your security is our security and your values are our values” Mr Stoltenberg said alongside President Zelenskyy this morning, adding that “we will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.” This was President Zelenskyy’s first visit to NATO headquarters since Russia’s 2022 invasion.
On the sidelines of the Ministerial, Defence Ministers from ten Allied countries signed an agreement that will build the legal framework for any future air defence purchases under the Sky Shield Initiative.
On Thursday (12 October 2023), NATO defence ministers will discuss strengthening the Alliance’s deterrence and defence, military operations in Iraq and Kosovo, and the situation in the Middle East, with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant set to join via videoconference. Ministers will also discuss damage to critical undersea infrastructure in the Baltic Sea. If the damage to an undersea gas pipeline and a telecommunications cable between Estonia and Finland is proven to be the result of a deliberate attack “it will be met by a united and determined response,” the Secretary General said.