Stoltenberg calls on NATO countries to send own arms stockpile to Ukraine

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has called on members to send more weapons from their own stockpiles to Ukraine. At Ukraine's request, he has also convened the NATO-Ukraine Council for Friday.

As well as agreeing to spend at least 2 per cent of their budgets on defence, NATO's 32 member states have agreed to buy and stockpile certain combat equipment. At a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Stoltenberg said that these capability goals were secondary to military assistance to Ukraine.

Giving as much as possible to Ukraine "is now the right decision", even if it means that NATO's own stockpile no longer meets its commitments, Stoltenberg said. "The reality is that supporting Ukraine and helping to disable Russian combat equipment also strengthens our own security."

"The reality is that supporting Ukraine and helping to disable Russian combat equipment also strengthens our own security"

The aim is to meet Ukrainian demands for more air defence systems and artillery shells, he said. This is also the purpose of the NATO-Ukraine Council. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the defence ministers of NATO's 32 member states will attend the meeting on Friday. It is not yet clear whether it will be a physical meeting or a video conference.

Zelensky has previously made it clear that he wanted a meeting of this NATO-Ukraine consultative body soon. In a video message on Tuesday evening, he said the people of Ukraine were entitled to better protection, referring to Israeli anti-aircraft defences that repelled an Iranian attack last weekend. Russia's is using Iranian-made drones to bomb Ukraine.



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