Conflicts & War

Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes: Nato chief

Madrid, Jun 29 (EFE).- Nato will support Ukraine for as long as it takes and the Alliance’s commitment to Kyiv is “unshakeable”, Nato’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

“President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy made clear that Ukraine relies on our continual support and our message to him was equally clear,” he told a press conference following a meeting at a Madrid summit where the Ukrainian president addressed Nato leaders.

“Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes.”

Stoltenberg said Nato would support Ukraine in the long term and continue to provide Kyiv with military and financial help.

“Over the longer-term, we will help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era equipment to modern Nato equipment.

“All of this shows our commitment to Ukraine’s future and our commitment is unshakable,” the Nato chief said.

The secretary general announced that Allies had agreed on a “fundamental shift” in Nato’s defense and deterrence strategy to respond to a “radical change” to the global security environment.

“We will strengthen our forward defenses, we will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance, up to brigade level, we will transform the Nato Response Force and increase the number of high readiness forces to well over 300,000,” Stoltenberg said.

The new Strategic Concept makes clear that Russia is the “most significant and direct threat to our security” and that China’s “coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values,” the Nato chief said.

He added it was the first time since the Cold War that the Alliance made plans with “pre-assigned forces.”

Stoltenberg said Allies had taken a “historic decision” to invite Finland and Sweden to join the Alliance following a breakthrough in talks with Turkey in which Helsinki and Stockholm agreed to enforce changes to their policies on Kurdish groups that Ankara regards as terrorist organizations as well as an arms embargo.

“This is a good agreement for Türkiye, it is a good agreement for Finland and Sweden and it is a good agreement for Nato,” Stoltenberg said.

The new Strategic Concept also addresses countering terrorism, cyber and hybrid threats.

“We are launching the Nato Innovation Fund. Backed by Allies, it will invest 1 billion euros in start-ups and funds developing dual-use emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.”

Climate change will also feature in the Strategic Concept outlined by Stoltenberg.

“Our aim is to cut emissions by Nato bodies and commands by at least 45% by 2030 and move towards Net Zero by 2050.

“We cannot choose between having green militaries or strong militaries. They must be both,” he said. EFE


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