Moscow is not giving up its ambitions in Ukraine, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference on April 5, on the eve of a meeting of the Alliance’s foreign ministers.
“We now see a significant movement of troops away from Kyiv, to regroup, rearm and resupply, and they shift their focus to the east,” Stoltenberg said.
“Targeting and murdering civilians is a war crime. All the facts must be established and all those responsible for these atrocities must be brought to justice,“ he said, commenting on the horrific images of murdered civilians in Bucha and other places.
“In the coming weeks, we expect a further Russian push in eastern and southern Ukraine. To try to take the entire Donbas and to create a land-bridge to occupied Crimea. So this is a crucial phase of the war,” he said.
Stoltenberg said that Nato Allies are determined to provide further support to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, air-defence systems and other equipment.
He said that Allies had also increased humanitarian assistance and financial aid.
“Nato will also look to provide cybersecurity assistance. And equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical and biological threats,” Stoltenberg said.
“I expect we will also decide to do more for Nato’s other partners, which are vulnerable to Russian threats and interference, including Georgia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
The Nato foreign ministers will be joined by their counterparts from Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Georgia, and the European Union, and by Nato’s Asia-Pacific partners – Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.
“At a time when authoritarian powers are pushing back on the rules-based international order, it is even more important for democracies to stand together, and protect our values,” Stoltenberg said.
Allied foreign ministers will also discuss the development of NATO’s next Strategic Concept, to guide the Alliance’s adaptation to the new global security reality.
They are also expected to endorse a Charter setting out how the new Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) will help to harness transatlantic innovation.
For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, please click here.
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