Stoltenberg: NATO will stand with Ukraine

Brussels 11.10.2022 NATO Defence Ministers will meet in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday (12-13 October 2022) to step up and sustain support to Ukraine and continue to strengthen NATO’s own defences, against the backdrop of Russia’s most significant escalation since the start of the Ukraine conflict.

Previewing the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO will stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” He added that “NATO is not party to the conflict, but our support is playing a key role” in helping Ukraine defend itself and liberate territory, in the face of Russia’s “horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure”.

On Wednesday, the US-led Ukraine Defence Contact Group will meet at NATO. Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov will also update Allied Ministers on the latest developments on the ground and Ukraine’s urgent needs for the winter. Mr Stoltenberg welcomed “the recent announcements by Allies to provide more advanced air defence systems and other capabilities, and I look forward to further deliveries.”

On Thursday, the Secretary General will chair a meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group to discuss Russia’s dangerous nuclear rhetoric and the role of NATO’s nuclear capability in preserving peace and deterring aggression. Next week, NATO will hold its long-planned deterrence exercise, Steadfast Noon, “this is routine training, which happens every year to keep our deterrent safe, secure and effective.” Mr Stoltenberg said.

Ministers will agree measures to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence, by increasing stockpiles of munitions and equipment, providing industry the long-term demand they need to boost production through the NATO defence planning process, and increasing resilience and the protection of critical infrastructure. They will also discuss NATO’s missions and operations from Kosovo to Iraq.

“We have a difficult winter ahead. So it is even more important that North America and Europe continue to stand united in support of Ukraine and in defence of our people,” Mr Stoltenberg concluded.

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell will also attend the NATO meeting, Stoltenberg said, pointing out that there are mutual security threats concerns for both organisations.

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