Conflicts & War

Nato chief ‘encouraged’ by Russian withdrawal from annexed Ukrainian city

London, Nov 9 (EFE).- Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that it is “encouraging” to see how the Ukrainian army has been able to recover territory that had been occupied by Russian forces after Moscow announced the withdrawal of its troops from the annexed city of Kherson.

“The victories, the gains the Ukrainian armed forces are making, belong to the brave, courageous Ukrainian soldiers,” Stoltenberg said after a meeting in London with British prime minister Rishi Sunak.

“But of course the support they receive from the United Kingdom, from Nato allies and partners is also essential,” he added.

Stoltenberg is the first international leader to meet with Sunak at Downing Street since he took office two weeks ago.

While the Prime Minister is currently finalizing his medium-term economic plan, which his government will announce next week, the Nato chief assured that he was confident that the UK would continue to lead by example in terms of military spending.

On Wednesday morning, Stoltenberg visited, along with British Defense Minister Ben Wallace, the Lydd Army Camp in southeast England, where the British Army is training Ukrainian soldiers.

The UK has trained more than 30,000 Ukrainian military personnel in recent years, the Nato chief remarked, praising London’s “strong support” for the Alliance’s common goals.

Sunak, for his part, said in statements to the media before meeting with Stoltenberg that the two have “a lot to talk about” and stressed that the body is the “cornerstone” of the UK’s defense and security plans.

“We are proud to be the second largest contributor (to NATO) and remain extremely committed to the Alliance,” he said.

The previous UK government, led by Liz Truss, had pledged to increase defense spending from the current 2.1% of GDP to 3% by 2030.

The current government’s plans in this area are expected to be announced on the 17th, when the finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, will inform parliament of the financial roadmap that the country will follow in the medium term. EFE


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