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Putin underestimates NATO's strength in supporting Ukraine - Stoltenberg

21 March, 2024 Thursday
14:50

NATO countries have provided tens of billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, and more is on the way. Putin underestimated the unity of the Alliance

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the annual Kyiv Security Forum, organized to mobilize transatlantic support for Ukraine.

"The Russian President underestimated the strength of NATO and the support we provide to Ukraine. NATO countries have provided more than 99% of all military assistance to Ukraine, and more is on its way to Ukraine. Putin wanted to prevent Ukraine from choosing its own path of development and to remove you from the Euro-Atlantic family, but he achieved the exact opposite," he said.

According to Stoltenberg, today Ukraine is closer to NATO than ever before. The Alliance is preparing Ukraine to join NATO.

"Ukraine is a candidate country for EU membership. You are also closer to NATO than ever before. Ukraine is paying a very high price for its choice. However, your determination to stay the course inspires us all. We will continue to help you every step of the way. In addition to NATO's immediate assistance to Ukraine, the Alliance will work with you. To contribute to your success in the long term, we are strengthening our political engagement through the NATO-Ukraine Council, where we hold joint consultations and take decisions. We are helping you to make your armed forces and equipment more interoperable with NATO forces. This is done to prepare for the day when Ukraine will join the Alliance, and it is not a question of "if", it is a question of "when". NATO continues to support Ukraine," Stoltenberg said.

The NATO Secretary General emphasized that the price paid by Ukraine, its people, city, infrastructure, and industry is huge.

"Russia's war against Ukraine continues. You have already inflicted heavy losses on Russian forces, you have successfully driven the Russian fleet out of the Black Sea, opened a corridor for the export of grain and other goods by sea. After two years of full-scale aggression, your country remains free and independent. Putin wanted to take away your sovereignty, but he failed. He underestimated your courage, ingenuity and determination," he added.

  • On March 21-22, the 16th annual Kyiv Security Forum is taking place to mobilize transatlantic support for Ukraine. The slogan of this year's forum: "Ukraine says to the world: We will win together!"


 
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