Nato to continue providing military equipment, including heavy weapons, to Ukraine

Nato Allies are committed to continue providing the military equipment that Ukraine needs to prevail, including heavy weapons and long-range systems, the Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on June 15 ahead of a two-day meeting of Nato defence ministers.

Stoltenberg said he expected Allies will agree a comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine at the Madrid Summit, to be held from June 28 to 30.

It would help Ukraine for the longer-term, to transition from Soviet-era to modern Nato equipment, and to improve interoperability with Nato.

The defence ministers will also be joined for their discussions on the evening of June 15 by Georgia, Sweden, Finland, and the European Union.

The ministers will also address the need to significantly strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defence.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the number of Nato battlegroups has doubled to eight and more than 40 000 troops are now under direct Nato command.

Stoltenberg said:  “We will now take decisions on the scale and design of our posture for the longer term. To ensure that we can defend every inch of Allied territory. From the first moment, at all times, and against any threat.

“This will mean big increases in our presence, capabilities, and readiness.”

He said that would mean more Nato forward deployed combat formations to strengthen the battlegroups in the East, more air, sea and cyber defences, pre-positioned equipment and weapon stockpiles.

He also highlighted a new force model, with more forces at higher readiness, and specific forces pre-assigned to the defence of specific Allies.

Stoltenberg said that the United States-led Ukraine Support Contact Group would also meet at Nato to discuss Ukraine’s urgent needs for military equipment and he thanked the US for its leadership and co-ordination.

(Photo of Stoltenberg: Nato)

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