NATO ministers to consider transition to long-term support program for Ukraine - Stoltenberg

NATO ministers to consider transition to long-term support program for Ukraine - Stoltenberg

The foreign ministers of NATO countries, who are starting a two-day meeting in Brussels today, will discuss changes in the system of supplying Ukraine with weapons, ammunition and military equipment, which involves the transition from voluntary contributions of member countries to collective commitments within NATO.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this before a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Wednesday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"Ukraine has urgent needs. Any delay in providing support has consequences on the battlefield as we speak. So we need to shift the dynamics of our support. We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for the long haul. So that we rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments. Less on short-term offers and more on multi-year pledges," Stoltenberg said.

He noted that Europe now faces war on a scale we thought was resigned to history. In recent days, the Kremlin has launched new major attacks, striking Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure, and Russia continues to press along the frontlines.

"We must stand firm in our support to Ukraine. and I welcome that Allies continue to make major deliveries of weapons, ammunition, and equipment. […] NATO Allies provide 99 percent of all military support to Ukraine. So doing more under NATO would make our efforts more efficient, and more effective," he said.

Read also: NATO to coordinate work as part of Ukraine Defense Contact Group - Stoltenberg

He noted that today the ministers would discuss how NATO could assume more responsibility for coordinating military equipment and training for Ukraine anchoring this within a robust NATO framework. Allies will also discuss a multi-year financial commitment to sustain their support.

According to Stoltenberg, this ministerial will set the stage for achieving consensus on these issues as we prepare for the Washington Summit.

"Moscow needs to understand that they cannot achieve their goals on the battlefield and they cannot wait us out. Tomorrow we will hold a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council. With Minister Kuleba, we will address the current situation and Ukraine’s needs both now and for the future. We are transforming NATO’s comprehensive assistance package into a multi-year program of assistance. We are helping Ukraine move closer to NATO, NATO standards on everything from procurement to logistics," he said.

"And we are supporting Ukraine's reform efforts to bring Ukraine ever closer to the Alliance. Ukraine will become a member of NATO. It is a question of when, not if," Stoltenberg added.

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