NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is ready to support Ukraine for years in the war against Russia, including helping Kiev to replace old Soviet-era weapons with modern Western military equipment, said Secretary General of the military alliance, Jens. Stoltenberg, this Thursday (28/04).
He made the statement after the Kremlin said that the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine, including heavy weapons, poses a threat to the security of the European continent and “provokes instability”.
Russian government accuses Western countries of encouraging Ukraine to attack Russian territory
“We need to be prepared for the long term,” Stoltenberg told a youth summit in Brussels. “There is a possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years.”
The NATO chief said the West would continue to push Russian President Vladimir Putin as hard as possible to end the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, through sanctions and economic and military aid to Kiev.
“NATO allies are preparing to provide support over a long period of time and also help Ukraine make the transition from old Soviet-era equipment to more modern NATO weapons and systems that will also require more training,” he said. Stoltenberg.
Most of the heavy weapons that NATO has sent to Ukraine so far are Soviet-built weapons still in the alliance’s member states’ stockpiles in Eastern Europe, but the US and some other allies have begun to supply Kiev with Western howitzers.
A man walks amid destroyed buildings in Mariupol on April 22, 2022 — Photo: REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
Germany announced on Tuesday the deployment of “Gepard” model tanks equipped with anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine. It was the first time that Berlin had approved the sending of heavy weapons to Kiev.
Ukraine’s calls for heavy weapons have intensified since Moscow focused its offensive on Donbass, a region in the east of the country with mostly flat and open terrain seen as more suitable for tank battles than the areas in the north around the capital Kiev. where much of the previous fighting took place.