NATO is ready to support Ukraine in the war against Russia for many years, including assisting Kyiv in the transition from Soviet-era weapons to modern Western weapons and systems, said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He spoke after the Kremlin warned that Western arms supplies to Ukraine, including heavy weapons, threatened the security of the European continent “and provoked instability.”
“We need to be prepared for the long term,” Stoltenberg told a youth summit in Brussels. “There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years.” The NATO chief said the West would continue to put maximum pressure on the Russian president to end the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, through sanctions and economic and military assistance to Kyiv.
“NATO allies are preparing to provide support over a long period of time and also help Ukraine to transit, move from old Soviet-era equipment to more modern NATO-standard weapons and systems that will also require more training,” Stoltenberg said. Most of the heavy weapons sent to Ukraine by NATO countries are still Soviet-made weapons, which are still in the warehouses of Eastern European NATO members, but the United States and some other allies have begun supplying Western howitzers to Kyiv.
It will be recalled that Germany on Tuesday announced the supply of Gepard tanks equipped with anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine. For the first time, Berlin has approved the supply of heavy weapons to Kyiv. Everything about these tanks you can read here.
Ukraine’s calls for heavy weapons have intensified since Moscow moved its offensive to Donbas, an eastern region with a mostly flat open area considered more suitable for tank battles than areas in the north around the capital Kyiv, where most previous fighting took place.
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