NATO to discuss Ukraine’s membership: Stoltenberg says

Stoltenberg NATO secretary General

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says NATO leaders will reaffirm that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance and also discuss how to bring Kyiv closer to this goal when they meet in Vilnius next week.

“For 500 days, Moscow has brought death and destruction to the heart of Europe,” Stoltenberg told reporters in a news conference in Brussels previewing the summit.

“Our summit will send a clear message: NATO stands united, and Russia’s aggression will not pay.”

Zelenskyy says he expects unity among NATO member states at next week’s summit in Vilnius.

He added that he wanted concrete steps in Ukraine’s path to joining the alliance.

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Speaking at a joint news conference with the Slovak president, the Ukrainian leader said he also expects the NATO summit to discuss more defence packages for Kyiv and security guarantees.

The Ukrainian president arrived in Slovakia after talks in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria over the past two days, and he is expected to travel to Turkey later in the day.

He is expected to discuss the situation on the front lines and at the NATO summit on Tuesday and Wednesday in Lithuania.

Slovakia has been one of Kyiv’s staunchest supporters and is one of the few allies to provide fighter jets to Kyiv, handing over 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 planes this year.

NATO prepares $545m aid package for Kyiv

NATO is preparing an additional 500-million-euro ($545m) aid package for Ukraine, its secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, says.

“NATO countries are preparing a new emergency package of assistance to Ukraine, including fuel, spare parts, medical supplies, demining equipment and pontoon bridges, for 500 million euros,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference in Brussels.

Stoltenberg added that the alliance has also provided Ukraine with “assistance in the construction of military hospitals”.