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NATO planning to supply Ukraine with million drones, Germany vows €100 mln aid - Thursday brief

NATO planning to supply Ukraine with million drones, Germany vows €100 mln aid - Thursday brief RBC-Ukraine collage

Yesterday, February 15, NATO shared plans to supply Ukraine with a million drones. Germany promised new military assistance to Ukraine.

RBC-Ukraine gathered the main news for February 15.

Russia's war against Ukraine: Latest news

Bundeswehr Inspector General vows €100 mln aid to Ukraine

Bundeswehr Inspector General Carsten Breuer promised short-term support to Ukraine for over 100 million euros during a meeting with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi.

According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, Breuer visited Ukraine last week and met with Syrskyi.

Pistorius described the meeting with Syrskyi as a very important contact.

"Overall, we are very close to what is happening in Ukraine and what Ukraine needs," he said.

Pistorius noted that Breuer was able to promise his Ukrainian counterpart short-term support of over 100 million euros.

The assistance to Ukraine will include:

  • mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs);
  • bombs for arming small drones;
  • 77 MULTI 1A1 cargo vehicles;
  • medical equipment;
  • spare parts kits for various weapon systems.

Zelenskyy to visit Germany, France on February 16-17

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Germany and France on February 16-17.

"On February 16, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Germany and France for negotiations with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron," the statement says.

On February 17, Zelenskyy will speak at the main stage of the Munich Security Conference and will also hold a series of bilateral meetings on its sidelines. These meetings include negotiations with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Czech President Petr Pavel, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and other leaders of states and major businesses.

Situation is critical: Avdiivka 'at risk of falling under Russian control', White House

Avdiivka may end up under Russian control, as Ukrainian troops do not have artillery shells. The U.S. Congress needs to quickly approve new aid for Ukraine.

The coordinator of the National Security Council of the White House, John Kirby, said that the fighting is incredibly intense in the east of Ukraine. In particular, this concerns the situation around Avdiivka.

"Unfortunately, we are getting reports from the Ukrainians that the situation is critical, with the Russians continuing to press Ukrainian positions every single day. Avdiivka is at risk of falling under Russian control. In very large part, this is happening because the Ukrainian forces on the ground are running out of artillery ammunition," Kirby said.

The official reminded that since Congress has not yet approved new funding for Ukraine's $60 billion aid, the U.S. cannot hand Ukrainian defenders artillery shells to thwart Russian attacks.

"Russian forces are now reaching the Ukrainian trenches actually in Avdiivka and are beginning to overwhelm Ukrainian defenses. The cost of inaction by the Congress is stark," Kirby added.

Ukraine's MoD highlights significance of NATO-Ukraine joint training center

The establishment of a joint training center between Ukraine and NATO will help develop new technological approaches and prepare for future threats.

"Ukrainian and NATO personnel will enhance the training system shoulder to shoulder," Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umerov said.

According to him, the establishment of such a center is one of the main achievements of the second meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council at the level of defense ministers.

"For us, the JATEC is about developing new technology-driven approaches to prepare for future threats. I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone who was involved in the preparations, especially to the NATO’s International Staff, Poland and Germany," the minister said.

Umerov noted that Ukraine and NATO countries should focus on building long-term defense capabilities and a sustainable defense industry.

Zelenskyy signs law legalizing medical cannabis in Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed a law legalizing medical cannabis in Ukraine. It will come into effect six months after publication.

This law will help regulate the circulation of cannabis only in medical, industrial, and scientific activities in Ukraine. It will simplify the medical use of drugs containing cannabis.

The bill provides for:

  • The distribution of marijuana for recreational use will continue to be considered a crime and will be investigated by the police in accordance with the law.
  • Drug production will be controlled at all stages.
  • Only legal entities that receive the appropriate license and GMP certificate will be able to grow cannabis, under 24-hour video surveillance with access to the National Police.
  • Each plant will have individual coding to track the movement of plants to the patient.
  • Medicines based on medical cannabis can only be obtained with an electronic prescription issued by a doctor according to the patient's condition, as is currently the case with morphine.

NATO planning to transfer one million drones to Ukraine

A group of countries of the North Atlantic Alliance aims to hand over a million drones to Ukrainian defenders as part of military aid.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that another meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council was held on February 15. In particular, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Rustem Umerov informed the allies about the situation at the front, and the NATO countries emphasized the importance of further support.

Stoltenberg also noted that over the past few days, allies, including Canada, Finland, and Norway, announced new packages of military aid to Ukraine, which include equipment and spare parts for the F-16, as well as air defense equipment.

"A group of allies is cognitive together with the goal of delivering 1 million drones to Ukraine​​​​​. 20 NATO allies have also agreed to form a mining coalition. All of this will help to save Ukrainian lives," added the Secretary-General.

Ukraine seeks future buying of Turkish fifth-generation fighter jets, Ambassador says

Ukraine in the future wants to buy Turkish fifth-generation fighter jets KAAN and already knows where to use them.

Ambassador of Ukraine to Türkiye, Vasyl Bodnar said that this was not a new idea, as negotiations started before the war. Ukraine has several companies with different experiences in engine design. Bodnar also clarifies that there is a kind of consortium of Ukrainian companies competing for this engine with other international and domestic manufacturers.

"However, Ukraine has experience and a good partnership label, and we can quickly produce equipment with the characteristics necessary for this aircraft. Creating such a project will also bring significant benefits to the Turkish side. Having its own production based on new technologies is progress not only in strengthening security and defense but also in competitiveness in the markets," the ambassador says.

Bodnar adds that KAAN has the full potential to compete with the F-35 and F-22, and this is the future story.

"So, as we have already discussed, if we succeed in preventing the influence of third parties both in the East and in the West, we will be one of the strongest in the region," he adds.

Replying to the journalist's question about the possibility of buying KAAN in the future, the ambassador says that Ukraine will not only buy but also use it.

"We also know where to use it," he concludes.