Ukraine news: NATO chief visits Kyiv, 1st since invasion

Kyiv, Ukraine –

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is visiting Ukraine for the first time since Russia launched a full-scale aggression more than a year ago, allied sources said Thursday.

“NATO’s secretary general is in Ukraine. We will release more information as soon as possible,” said the allied official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with NATO procedures.

Photos of Stoltenberg appearing to pay homage to fallen Ukrainian soldiers in Kiev’s St. Michael’s Square have been released by local media.

Aside from the significant symbolism of the visit, the exact purpose of Stoltenberg’s travels was not immediately clear. NATO does not recognize an official presence in Ukraine. As an organization of 31 countries, it provides only non-lethal aid (generators, medical equipment, tents, military uniforms and other supplies) to the government of Kiev.

Stoltenberg has been a powerful voice of the alliance throughout the war, and has been instrumental in obtaining and coordinating support from its 31 member states as Ukraine sought to maintain its territory.

Stoltenberg had visited Kiev before the war, but this was his first visit during the war, underscoring the alliance’s long-standing commitment to defending Ukraine’s independence.

Earlier this month, Finland joined NATO in a major blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Joining the Nordic countries doubles the borders between Russia and the world’s largest security alliance. Neighboring Sweden is also expected to join in the next few months, possibly leading to a meeting between US President Joe Biden and his NATO counterparts in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on July 11-12. until.

The world’s largest security alliance focuses on strengthening its own territorial defenses to deter President Putin from attacking member states. An attack on a Member State is considered an attack on all States.

The United States and many other member states are providing arms, ammunition and training to the beleaguered forces in Ukraine bilaterally and collectively, but NATO as a whole faces a potential war with a nuclear-armed Russia. I would like to avoid being dragged into

On Friday, Stoltenberg will attend a meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Liaison Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.


Lone Cook reported from Brussels

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