One of the key topics of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's meeting with US President Joe Biden on the eve of the Alliance's summit in Vilnius was long-term support for Ukraine.
It is reported by "Voice of America".
What Stoltenberg said about the NATO summit
Prior to the talks at the White House, Stoltenberg and Biden stressed the joint efforts of NATO countries in support of Ukraine. Thus, the Secretary General of the Alliance expressed his hope that following the summit, member countries would strengthen support for Ukraine. Stoltenberg stressed that helping Ukraine is in the interests of the security of all NATO countries.
"The more territory Ukrainians manage to liberate [during the counteroffensive], the stronger they will be at the future negotiating table. And the more likely is that at some point President Putin will realize that he will never be able to win his war of aggression on the battlefield," Stoltenberg said.
He stressed that Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine was not only an attack on the state itself, but also on key values and freedom of people everywhere.
"Therefore, President Putin cannot be allowed to win this war, because it will not only be a tragedy for Ukrainians, but also make the world more dangerous," the Secretary General of the Alliance explained.
He added that a Russian victory in the war would send a message to other authoritarian leaders around the world, including China, that they can achieve their goals by military force.
"Then we will become more vulnerable. So it is in the interest of our security to maintain Ukraine," Stoltenberg said.
During a joint press appearance with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Secretary General of the Alliance said: "Military support for Ukraine from NATO and partners is changing the situation on the battlefield right now, because Ukrainians have launched an offensive, they have just begun, but they are gaining strength."
The U.S. President thanked the NATO Secretary General for his powerful leadership.
Of the upcoming alliance summit, Biden said: "More than 40 countries are committed (to preservation – ed.) independence of Ukraine. I think it's a very clear message. With God's help, we will preserve this unity."
Putin made a mistake. He hoped for the "Finlandization" of NATO, and received the "natoization" of Finland and, hopefully, soon Sweden," the American leader said.
Ukraine's expectations from the NATO summit
The Alliance's summit will take place in Vilnius on July 11-12. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky was also invited to it. He stressed that at the summit Ukraine needs a "clear" invitation to NATO and security guarantees for the period until the state is not yet a member of the Alliance. At the same time, the Head of State noted that Ukraine understands that it will not join NATO while the war lasts and does not wait for the Alliance's troops on its territory.
A similar statement was made by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. He said that at the Vilnius NATO summit, Ukraine expects "a clear step towards membership" in the alliance. "Ideally, it should be an invitation to membership, but I think that NATO will play with some softer wording," the minister said.
As reported the day before, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Volodymyr Havrylov, Ukraine at the NATO summit will receive an algorithm for joining the Alliance.
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