NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has said that “Ukraine’s rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family.”
Stoltenberg has pledged to provide more military support for Ukraine and that there has been €65 billion of military aid sent to the country so far and that tens of thousands of troops have also been provided with training.
Stoltenberg said, “Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO. And over time, our support will help you to make this possible.”
Stoltenberg has invited President Volodymyr Zelensky to the NATO summit in Vilnius in July saying, “NATO stands with you today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes.”
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He added, “We do not know when this war will end, but we know that Russian aggression is a toxic pattern that must be stopped.
“So we must continue strengthening Ukraine’s armed forces.
“And we must ensure that robust, powerful arrangements are in place for Ukraine’s security.”
President Zelensky has asked Stoltenberg for an invite to become a fully fledged member of NATO and told a joint news conference in Kyiv it would be a “historic” moment to attend the summit in July.
The Ukrainian President told reporters, “I am grateful for the invitation to visit the summit, but it is also important for Ukraine to receive the corresponding invitation.
“There is not a single objective barrier to the political decision to invite Ukraine into the alliance and now, when most people in NATO countries and the majority of Ukrainians support NATO accession, is the time for the corresponding decisions.”
Sky News military analyst, retired Air Vice Marshall Sean Bell described Stoltenberg’s visit to Ukraine as “hugely significant.”
Bell said, “It was a hugely significant day for Ukraine. Ukraine is not in NATO but this visit by the secretary-general speaks volumes.”
He added, “The whole purpose of this trip was to show solidarity with Ukraine. It is worth recalling that NATO is in essence a defensive alliance.
“It’s not prepared to put soldiers on the ground but there was a lot of narrative in this visit about supporting Ukraine and helping them rebuild.”
Vladimir Putin and Moscow would do everything in their power to stop Ukraine from joining NATO as this is another reason why Russia invaded the country to prevent NATO borders being along the Russia.
Bell said, “There was probably a hope that Ukraine would remain neutral as a buffer zone.
“But Stoltenberg couldn’t have been clearer, Ukraine belongs in the Euro-Atlantic alliance. This was the very clearest statement we’ve seen yet of a pathway for Ukraine to join.”
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