NATO ministers meet on alliance, support for Ukraine

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NATO defence ministers on Wednesday gathered in Brussels for a two-day meeting which would be focused on the alliance’s support for Ukraine.

Alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg on his arrival said “NATO headquarters is hosting the defence ministers at a pivotal moment for our security.’’

The gathering came after Russia launched a wave of missile strikes by land, sea and air on many Ukrainian cities on Monday, killing more than a dozen people and damaging energy infrastructure.

According to Stoltenberg the alliance’s 30 defence ministers are due to discuss Ukraine’s most urgent needs with Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov and more air defence is “the top priority,”

Stoltenberg also praised Germany’s delivery to Ukraine of the Iris-T SLM air defence system to fend off future missile attacks.

NATO ministers are expected to decide to increase stockpiles of munitions and equipment to strengthen the alliance’s defence and deterrence capacities amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ministers are also due to discuss the alliance’s nuclear capabilities ahead of NATO’s annual nuclear training exercise and the need to better protect critical infrastructure after recent acts of alleged sabotage.

NATO aspirants Sweden and Finland are invited to the gathering.

On Wednesday afternoon, the United States would hold consultations of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group in Brussels, which coordinates arms deliveries to Ukraine.

According to the U.S. Defence Department, representatives of about 50 countries are to attend the meeting. (NAN)

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