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Ukraine seeks more support, not NATO troop deployment - Stoltenberg

Ukraine seeks more support, not NATO troop deployment - Stoltenberg Photo: Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has confirmed the statement that the North Atlantic Alliance does not plan to send troops to Ukraine, and Kyiv has not even requested such a thing, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

The issue of defense assistance

The Secretary General of the alliance emphasized that the Ukrainian authorities have asked for more support from partners and allied countries. Defense assistance from the Western countries should help the Ukrainian Armed Forces to more effectively counter Russia's large-scale aggression, including massive shelling.

In this context, Stoltenberg noted the Italian government's decision to supply Ukraine with the Samp-T air defense system jointly with France.

Sending troops

In an interview with ANSA, the NATO Secretary General, who had previously held talks with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Chigi Palace, spoke about the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron, who had not previously ruled out the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine.

“NATO has no intention of deploying forces in Ukraine. When I visited Ukraine last week the Ukrainians did not ask for NATO troops in Ukraine, what they asked for is more support,” Stoltenberg emphasized.

Situation at frontline in Ukraine

He also noted that the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine is very difficult.

He said he visited Kyiv last week and was informed of the challenges the Ukrainians face: Russia has gained ground, and there is a risk that it will gain further ground. He added that it's not a big territory, but to stop all this, to allow the Ukrainians to defend themselves, they need to send ammunition, they need weapons. This is how the NATO Secretary General explained the need for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to receive more defense support from the West.

“We did not fulfill what we promised”

Stoltenberg added that one of the reasons why the Russian occupiers have been able to advance and seize more territory in recent months was because they have not done what they promised.

According to him, it took the United States six months to agree on a new aid package for Ukraine, or on the issue of the promised million shells from Europe - much less was handed over to the Ukrainian side.

Stoltenberg said, however, that now everything is changing.

Possibility of negotiations

He also expressed the opinion that it is now very difficult to have a meaningful dialog with Russia to stop the aggression against Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said they would like them to stop attacking another country. However, so far they have not seen a real willingness on the part of the Russian side to engage in serious peace talks, because Putin believes he can win.

The NATO Secretary General is convinced that the only way to convince the Russian dictator that he needs to sit down and negotiate is to demonstrate on the battlefield that he will not win.

Stoltenberg said that the only way to do that is to provide Ukraine with military support.

NATO's position on the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine

After French President Emmanuel Macron said he didn't rule out the possibility of NATO sending troops to help Ukraine in late February, this statement sparked debate among Ukraine's allies.

It is worth noting that the NATO Secretary General has repeatedly stated that the bloc has no intention of sending troops to Ukraine. At the end of winter, Stoltenberg noted that there were no plans to deploy NATO combat troops in Ukraine.