• 21/04/2024 02:07

Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever before – Stoltenberg on the anniversary of the invasion

The Secretary General of the Alliance noted that Putin, among other things, wanted to close the doors of NATO to Ukraine through the war, but achieved exactly the opposite.

Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever before on the anniversary of the invasion

Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement on the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, assuring that the alliance will continue to support Ukraine, whose membership in the organization is a matter of time, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

“President Putin started this war because he wanted to close the doors of NATO and deprive Ukraine of the right to choose its own path. But he achieved exactly the opposite: Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever before,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.

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He noted that the Alliance is helping to make Ukrainian forces increasingly compatible with allied forces.

Together we will open a new Joint Center for Analysis, Training and Education in Poland. And we are deepening our political ties through the NATO-Ukraine Council, where we consult and decide together. Ukraine will join NATO. The question is not “if”, but “when”. As we prepare you for that day, NATO will continue to support Ukraine. For your safety and for ours,” Stoltenberg said.

The Secretary General stated that the situation on the battlefield remains extremely serious.

“President Putin's goal to dominate Ukraine has not changed. There is no sign that he is preparing for peace. But we should not despair. Ukraine has demonstrated excellent skill and tough determination time and time again. Ukraine has not fallen in a matter of weeks, as many feared. You recaptured half of the territory captured by Russia. Pushed Russia away from a significant part of the Black Sea. And inflicted heavy losses on Russian troops,” he noted.

Stoltenberg emphasized that, above all, Ukraine retains its freedom and independence.

“This was made possible thanks to your courage and determination. This was made possible thanks to great military and economic support from NATO allies. In recent days and weeks alone, allies have announced billions of dollars in new aid packages. They cover “Key capabilities such as artillery ammunition, air defense and combat boats. As well as equipment and spare parts for the F-16, drones and mine clearance equipment. Additional support is expected,” the NATO Secretary General listed. Stoltenberg recently said that Ukraine would be able to use F-16s to attack Russian territory. The NATO Secretary General confirmed that military targets outside Ukraine are legitimate.

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