Stoltenberg, Reznikov, Zaluzhny make statements on the eve of the 9th Ramstein

February 14,2023 724
Stoltenberg, Reznikov, Zaluzhny make statements on the eve of the 9th Ramstein

NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg did not rule out delivering aircraft to Ukraine by NATO Allies, answering a question during a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday ahead of the Feb. 14-15 NATO Defense Ministers’ meetings.

The question was whether Stoltenberg still shared concerns like those during debates on a no-fly zone over Ukraine a year ago that it might be seen as interference.

“So first, I think we need to distinguish between two things. One thing is what we also discussed very much last year and that was the issue of whether NATO should establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine and sending NATO planes to enforce the no-fly zone. That’s a very different thing than what is discussed now, and that is the possibility of NATO Allies delivering aircraft to Ukraine so they can use themselves,” Stoltenberg answered. “That’s two very, very different things. Because if NATO was going to send NATO planes to enforce with a NATO presence in the airspace of Ukraine a no-fly zone, that will be direct NATO involvement. It’s a very different thing to provide the Ukrainians with different types of military capabilities that will not make us party to the conflict.”

He also said that almost one year since the invasion, Putin is not preparing for peace but launching new offensives, so NATO must continue to provide Ukraine with what it needs to win.

“It is clear that we are in a race of logistics. Key capabilities like ammunition, fuel, and spare parts must reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the initiative on the battlefield. Speed will save lives,” Stoltenberg emphasized.

“If Putin wins in Ukraine, the message to him and other authoritarian regimes is that force is rewarded. That would make the world more dangerous. And all of us more vulnerable,” he added.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, who left for Brussels to participate in the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, the “9th Ramstein,” disclosed the main items on its agenda. On Facebook, he listed them as follows:

  • Protect the Ukrainian sky, including through the involvement of an aviation platform;
  • Build up the “tank coalition”;
  • Form a safety margin for ammunition;
  • Training programs for our warriors;
  • Stability of support – logistics, maintenance, repair, practical implementation of a “Military Schengen.”

He also added that he had a number of calls with partners a day before, and their involvement and support gave him optimism.

In a phone call on the eve of the 9th Ramstein, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, and Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, discussed supplying international military aid to Ukraine and training Ukrainian units on the territory of Ukraine’s partners, Zaluzhny reported in a Facebook post.

The Ukrainian general shared his operational situation assessments on the front line of the Russia-Ukraine war and plans for further actions.

“I’m grateful to General Cavoli for his deep understanding of the situation and significant efforts to bring our Victory closer, my vision of which I shared today with my counterpart. The Victory of Ukraine will mean not only the liberation of its territories but also the creation of such conditions and Armed Forces [of Ukraine] that will not give the russians any opportunity ever to attack our country in the future,” Zaluzhny said.

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