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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Ukraine

This is the first visit of Jens Stoltenberg to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.

On April 20, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv. They discussed the upcoming meeting in “Ramstein” format on April 21 and encouraging partners to supply certain types of weapons. Preparation for NATO Summit in Vilnius, to which Ukraine had been invited, and security guarantees for Ukraine on its way to the Alliance were also on the agenda.

“This visit of the Secretary General is the first since the full-scale war – we consider it a sign that the Alliance is ready to start a new chapter in relations with Ukraine – a chapter of ambitious decisions,said President Zelenskyy.

During his visit to Ukraine, NATO Secretary General also went to Bucha to see the consequences of the Russian occupation. “Earlier today, I visited Bucha. I was deeply moved by what I saw there: Evidence of horrific atrocities perpetrated against the Ukrainian people,” stated Stoltenberg.

During the press conference, President Zelenskyy appealed to the Secretary General of NATO for help overcoming partners’ reluctance to supply Ukraine with long-range weapons, modern aviation, artillery, and armored vehicles.

“The further our soldiers can move on the frontline, the sooner the most important thing – peace – will return to Ukraine and all of Europe,” added Zelenskyy.

Providing security guarantees to Ukraine while the country is on the path to joining NATO was also discussed. In particular, President Zelenskyy emphasized that these security guarantees do not in any way replace or delay Ukraine’s membership in NATO, and together they will continue to uphold peace throughout Europe and the world in the future. 

Read more: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine was applying for accelerated accession to NATO in September 2022.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in his turn, noted that NATO stands with Ukraine and that Russian aggression must be stopped. “We stood with you after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, we stand with you in the heroic struggle against Russian aggressors and in defense of your country. And we will stand with you tomorrow as you rebuild your country and work for a bright future for the Ukrainian people,” said Stoltenberg.

NATO Secretary General also added that since February 2022, NATO allies provided Ukraine with more than €150 billion in support, including €65 billion in military aid.