Heads of NATO defense are meeting ahead of the alliance’s summit in Madrid later in June. NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said the Ukraine war posed the “biggest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades.”
https://www.dw.com-NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he expects agreement on a new package of aid to Ukraine
The ministers of defense of NATO member states are holding a round of talks in Brussels on Wednesday to deal with the response to security threats posed by Russia in the medium to long term.
Ahead of talks NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “Russia’s war against Ukraine is posing the biggest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades.”
Stoltenberg said that NATO needed to made stronger with more support given to partners.
“Allies are committed to continue providing the military equipment that Ukraine needs to prevail, including heavy weapons and long range systems,” the NATO chief said.
Stoltenberg also said that he expected consensus on a new package of assistance at the upcoming NATO leaders’ summit in Madrid later this month.
Meeting will assess Ukraine’s ‘urgent needs’
Stoltenberg will be chairing the talks which begin with a working dinner on Wednesday evening and will continue with an allied ministers’ meeting on Thursday.
Finland, Georgia, Sweden and Ukraine and the European Union have been invited to the session which Stoltenberg said would be an opportunity to assess Ukraine’s urgent needs, while also affording NATO allies the opportunity to pledge more support.
The Ukrainian leadership has made repeated appeals for more military assistance in the form of heavy weaponry since the Russian invasion on February 24. While various pledges have been made, there has been a level of criticism that support has been slow in coming.
Germany’s defense pledge welcomed
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine heads towards the four month mark, Baltic states bordering Russia want a stronger military presence in the region.Last week German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to bolster the alliance’s eastern flank with a €100 billion ($106 billion) special fund that would reinforce German forces in the area.
“I welcome Germany’s intension to strengthen its engagement in Lithuania, which leads our NATO battlegroup and develop it towards a more robust combat brigade,” Stoltenberg said.
With that in mind, the security alliance’s summit in Madrid is expected to determine what the future of the NATO deployment in eastern Europe will look like.
A separate meeting being held by the US and the Ukraine Defense Contact Group is also being held on Wednesday, although NATO is not officially taking part in discussions.
kb/jcg (dpa, Reuters)