(Brussels) NATO allies and their partners have provided Ukraine with 230 combat tanks and 1,550 armored vehicles to help them counter the Russian offensive and retake their territory, the Secretary General of the NATO Jens Stoltenberg.
“ Allies and partners of the contact group led by the United States have sent to Ukraine 230 tanks, 1,550 armored vehicles and significant quantities of ammunition, or 98% of the equipment promised, in order to equip nine new armored brigades ”, he said during a press conference with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel.
“In total, the Ukrainians therefore have the capabilities they need to take back more territories,” said the head of the Atlantic Alliance.
Since the start of the Russian offensive in February 2022, NATO members have also provided Soviet-made air defense systems, artillery and MIG-29 fighter jets held by Poland and the Czech Republic. . They have also trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers on the weapons used by NATO armies.
Jens Stoltenberg, however, called for “never underestimating” Russia. “ Russian forces may lack quality, but they are catching up on quantity and Moscow continues to mobilize more personnel ”, he recalled.
“We will be at Ukraine’s side for as long as it takes and we will provide it with what it needs,” assured the Norwegian official.
“Luxembourg has the smallest army in NATO, but if we are needed, we can be counted on,” said Xavier Bettel. Luxembourg is bottom of the class in NATO for the share of its GDP devoted to defense spending, but the head of government has pledged to increase it.
MM. Stoltenberg and Bettel welcomed Wednesday’s phone call between Chinese Presidents Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“This does not change the fact that China has not been able to condemn Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine”, however, insisted the NATO Secretary General.
“It is up to Ukraine to decide what the terms of the talks are and what formats the talks should have,” he added.
“If we want a peaceful and negotiated solution that allows Ukraine to establish itself as a sovereign and independent nation, the best way to achieve this is to provide military support to Ukraine, exactly as the NATO allies,” he concluded.