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Zelenskyy says Ukraine expects strong defense commitments from NATO at upcoming summit in Washington

If the Alliance doesn’t invite Ukraine to join, it must provide the country with weapons it needs to defend itself from Russia.
press conference stoltenberg zelenskyy april 2024
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on 29 April 2024. Credit: Presidential Office
Zelenskyy says Ukraine expects strong defense commitments from NATO at upcoming summit in Washington

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Kyiv anticipates strong decisions at the upcoming NATO summit regarding clear steps to bolster Ukraine’s defenses against ongoing Russian aggression, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian side understands that the White House is not ready to invite Ukraine to NATO, a position shared by both current US President Joe Biden and presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“I don’t think this is the policy of world leaders. These are cautious steps, like the steps of sappers in a minefield,” noted the Ukrainian president. 

He noted that given that Ukraine cannot count on an invitation to NATO today, “it is asking for specific steps.”

“If America is afraid of provoking Putin, which is why we are not being invited, then we ask our strategic partners, the US, to give us everything possible to protect us.

We ask for Patriots, a sufficient number of F16s, and the ability to use weapons to protect ourselves. If NATO is not yet ready to protect us and take us into its alliance, then we ask to be given everything we need to defend ourselves,” claimed Zelenskyy.

Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he expects the Alliance leaders to agree on a new NATO command in Wiesbaden to coordinate training and the provision of security assistance to Ukraine.

Stoltenberg says he expects NATO to establish new command in Wiesbaden for Ukraine support

On 14 June, NATO defense ministers approved a long-term plan to assist Ukraine and train Ukrainian military personnel but have yet to reach an agreement on regular financial contributions. A new headquarters to manage military assistance for Ukraine will be set up at an American facility in Germany.

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