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Stoltenberg announces increased cooperation with Ukraine

Stoltenberg announces increased cooperation with Ukraine NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

NATO is ramping up its cooperation with Ukraine. This includes enhancing Ukraine's capability to independently produce weapons and ammunition, among other initiatives, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during his speech at the Defense Industry Forum.

"The need for us to work more closely with partners. That’s partly Ukraine. And we are stepping up our cooperation with Ukraine. We are now taking over the lead as NATO for the provision of security assistance and training," he said.

Stoltenberg added that a command structure will be established in Germany, staffed by 700 personnel, and in some centers in the eastern part of the Alliance as well.

"We are doing that also to help to not only support but also to invest and develop projects together and increase the capability of Ukraine to produce weapons and munitions themselves," the Secretary General said.

Stoltenberg did not hide the fact that the reality of the war in Ukraine has revealed not only that the stockpiles and production capabilities of Alliance countries are insufficient but also significant gaps in the interoperability of partner nations' forces.

Stoltenberg reminded of a most well-known example of the German-Dutch brigade, which was supposed to be ready for joint actions. However, in reality, the standard 155mm ammunition used by the Netherlands cannot be utilized in German howitzers and vice versa.

NATO-Ukraine interaction

At the end of May, it was reported that NATO would establish a permanent structure to organize and finance the supply of weapons to Ukraine. The first decisions could be made at the Alliance's summit, currently being held in Washington from July 9 to 11.

In mid-June, NATO defense ministers approved an operational plan to expand support for Ukraine. As noted by Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, NATO's new plan to expand military support for Ukraine will involve the bloc in assisting Kyiv. This will enable Ukraine to receive everything it needs promptly.

Besides, NATO plans to create a new position of special envoy to Ukraine to strengthen its long-term commitments.