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NATO chief calls for stepping up weapons exports for Ukraine

Having said that Ukraine was “in a dire situation”, Mr Stoltenberg reiterated calls, in Brussels on Wednesday, for stepping up weapons exports to Ukraine invaded by Russia.

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Mr Stoltenberg said that members of the alliance would continue to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons and long-range systems and that he expected them to agree on a new package of assistance for Kyiv at the prospective NATO summit in Madrid taking place later this month. “We are extremely focused on stepping up support,” he told a news conference.

Concerning the package, Mr Stoltenberg said he felt it would help Ukraine with the move from old Soviet-era weaponry to NATO standard gear.

“It is very much about enabling the Ukrainians to transition from Soviet-era, from old equipment to more modern NATO-standard equipment,” he told reporters ahead of a meeting of the alliance’s defence ministers in Brussels.

The official stressed that the Alliance was now delivering more long-range weapons and more advanced anti-air defence systems, state-of-the-art artillery and heavy gear that met the modern standards of NATO. Updating the Ukrainian army’s armaments implied that Ukraine’s soldiers had to be trained, which required more time to accomplish, he said, adding that Ukraine was “in a dire situation” and that help needed to be stepped up.

Waging a war of hunger

Mr Stoltenberg went on to say that Russia deliberately brought about a global food and energy crisis by attacking Ukraine. He called Russia’s war against Ukraine “the largest threat to Euroatlantic security in decades.”

The official said that Russia was carrying out a brutal war against the Ukrainian nation, causing death, large-scale destruction and far-reaching consequences on a global scale.

A day earlier, on Tuesday, he said that in response to Russia’s invasion, NATO had reinforced its “ability to protect and defend every inch” of the Alliance’s allied territory. “In Madrid, we will take the next steps and agree on a major strengthening of our posture.”

Ukrainian officials have been accusing Russia of stealing about 600,000 tonnes of its grain and exporting some of it.

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