Stoltenberg: Nato will continue to stand with Ukraine

Ukraine will join Nato, and it is not a question of if, but of when, the Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on February 24 in a message to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

“Let me begin by honouring all those brave Ukrainians who have fallen or been wounded in defence of their homeland,” Stoltenberg said.

The situation on the battlefield remains extremely serious, he said, adding that Putin’s aim to dominate Ukraine has not changed, and there are no indications that he is preparing for peace.

“But we must not lose heart,” Stoltenberg said.

Ukraine had demonstrated remarkable skill and fierce determination again and again, and Ukraine did not collapse in weeks, as many feared it would, he said.

“You have recaptured half of the territory seized by Russia, pushed Russia back from large parts of the Black Sea, and inflicted heavy losses on the Russian forces.

“Above all, Ukraine retains its freedom and independence. This has been made possible by your courage and resolve. Enabled by major military and economic support from Nato Allies.”

Just in the past days and weeks, Nato Allies have announced new packages of aid worth billions of dollars, he said.

These cover key capabilities like artillery ammunition, air defence, and combat boats, as well as F-16 equipment and spare parts, drones, and demining equipment.

“More support is on the way,” Stoltenberg said.

Putin started this war because he wanted to close Nato’s door, and deny Ukraine the right to choose its own path, but he has achieved the exact opposite, the Nato chief said.

“Ukraine is now closer to Nato than ever before. We are helping to make your forces more and more interoperable with Allies.

“We will open a new Joint Analysis, Training and Education Centre in Poland together.

“And we are deepening our political ties through the Nato-Ukraine Council, where we consult and make decisions together.”

Saying that Ukraine would join Nato and that it was not a question of if but when, Stoltenberg said: “As we prepare you for that day, Nato will continue to stand with Ukraine. For your security, and for ours”.

(Photo: Nato)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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