Stoltenberg links Ukraine NATO accession to 'independence'
The NATO Secretary-General reaffirms the alliance's backing for Kiev "for as long as it takes."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday expressed his support for Ukraine’s possible membership in the US-led military alliance.
"Ukraine’s future is the Euro-Atlantic family," Stoltenberg told reporters at a news conference after the reunion of the NATO-Ukraine Commission on the first day of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
He said NATO allies remain committed to the military alliance's open-door policy, but pointed out that the "first step is to ensure that Ukraine prevails as an independent nation."
Stoltenberg reaffirmed NATO’s backing for Kiev "for as long as it takes," announcing that NATO will "develop a multi-year support initiative for Ukraine" to assist the transition of the Ukrainian army from "Soviet-era equipment and doctrines to NATO standards."
On Monday, Stoltenberg confirmed that NATO member states have provided 65 billion euros ($70 billion) in military aid to Kiev in light of the ongoing Ukraine war.
The NATO Secreatry-General also welcomed the start of deliveries of Western tanks and other armored vehicles to Ukraine.
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