Wed, 04 October 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

NATO ministers pledge arms for Ukraine and talk production

Update : 16 Jun 2023, 01:24

NATO defense ministers have kicked off a two-day meeting looking at ways to deliver more weapons and ammunition, including fighter aircraft, to Ukraine.

Several NATO members states have pledged new weapons and ongoing support for Ukraine at a meeting of the military alliance's defense ministers in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO military aid to Ukraine is making a difference on the battlefield.

"Ukrainians are making also highlights and demonstrates that the support NATO allies have been giving to Ukraine now for many, many months actually makes a difference on the battlefield as we speak," he said

Stoltenberg spoke as the US-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group met as a part of a NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels to discuss Kyiv's counter-offensive against Russia.

At the meeting, several defense ministers vowed to continue supporting Ukraine in the long run.

Estonia's Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur told DW's Alexandra von Nahmen that the West would support Ukraine "for as long as it takes."

"There is no chance for Putin, for the Kremlin, to think that the West will go away from Ukraine's back," Pevkur said. "No, we will not go."

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the meeting that Ukraine needed both short-term and long-term support.

"Ukraine's fight is a marathon, not a sprint," he said.

"So we will continue to provide Ukraine with the urgent capabilities that it needs to meet this moment, as well as what it needs to keep itself secure for the long term from Russian aggression."

Several NATO member states announced a fresh wave of weapons deliveries to Ukraine on Thursday.

Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States announced the joint delivery of hundreds of "Soviet-era" air defense missiles to Ukraine.

"Working with our international partners we are able to provide vital air defense equipment, which will help Ukraine support offensive operations and protect critical national infrastructure," UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.

The delivery is already underway and will be completed within weeks, the four nations said in a joint statement.

Additionally, Denmark and Norway agreed to donate 9,000 rounds of artillery to Ukraine.

Norway would donate 7,000 rounds from its own stocks, while the remainder would be made from fuses and propellant provided by Denmark and shells provided by Norway.

German business newspaper Handelsblatt also reported that Denmark and Norway could finance the delivery of 14 German-made Leopard-2 main battle tanks to Ukraine.

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