Nato, EU, Ukrainian officials to hold talks on efforts to ensure Ukraine has weapons it needs

A meeting of Nato, European Union and Ukrainian procurement experts is to be held to see what more can be done together to ensure Ukraine has the weapons it needs, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on February 21.

Stoltenberg was speaking at a joint news conference with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

“I welcome the recent announcements by Allies on new tanks, heavy weaponry, and training for Ukrainian troops. It is urgent to deliver on all these pledges,” Stoltenberg said.

“This has become a grinding war of attrition, a battle of logistics. And key capabilities must reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the momentum,” he said.

Stoltenberg said that he, Kuleba and Borrell had discussed the need to ramp up production and improve procurement systems.

“Upon Ukraine’s request, we have agreed that Nato should assist Ukraine to develop a procurement system that is effective, transparent and accountable,” Stoltenberg said.

He said that Nato had been working on ramping up production for many months. Nato had held meetings with the defence industry last autumn and continued to engage with them, he said.

“We have completed an extraordinary survey of munitions stockpiles,” Stoltenberg said.

“And we will increase our targets for munitions stockpiles through the Nato Defence Planning Process.”

This would also help give defence industry the long-term demand and contracts they need to invest and produce more, Stoltenberg said.

He said that a year ago, Russian President Putin had aunched his illegal war against a peaceful neighbour.

“The facts are clear for all to see. Nobody is attacking Russia. Russia is the aggressor. Ukraine is the victim of aggression,” Stoltenberg said.

“And we are supporting Ukraine’s right to self-defence right, which is enshrined in the UN Charter.”

It was Putin who started this imperial war of conquest and it was Puting who kept escalating the war, Stoltenberg said.

“He thought he could destroy Ukraine and divide us. But he underestimated the determination of the Ukrainian people to defend their homeland. And he underestimated our unity.”

“We see no sign that President Putin is preparing for peace. On the contrary, as he made clear today, he is preparing for more war,” Stoltenberg aid.

He said that Russia was launching new offensives, mobilising more troops and reaching out to North Korea and Iran.

“We are also increasingly concerned that China may be planning to provide lethal support for Russia’s war,” he said.

Putin must not win, because that would show that aggression works and force is rewarded, Stoltenberg said: “It would be dangerous for our own security, and for the whole world”.
“So we must sustain and step up our support for Ukraine. We must give Ukraine what they need to win. And prevail as a sovereign independent nation in Europe,” Stoltenberg said.

(Photo: Nato)

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