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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

US and NATO will continue to provide ‘maximum possible’ assistance to Ukraine

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, visiting the United States, pledged on Wednesday to provide “the best possible assistance” to Ukraine until its victory. The statement was made during a joint press conference held after the talks.

Stoltenberg noted that NATO partners stand together “like never before” regarding Russian aggression in Ukraine. The NATO Secretary General pointed out that since President Vladimir Putin launched his illegal military aggression, NATO allies have provided unprecedented support to Ukraine, providing the country with around $120 billion in military, humanitarian and financial aid. He also noted the importance of the role of the United States in resolving this conflict and thanked the Biden administration for the previously announced package of additional security assistance to Ukraine on the ground.

He stressed the importance of “unprecedented unity” between EU partners on economic sanctions against Russia, and NATO allies on joint consultations and intelligence sharing.

The leader of the North Atlantic Alliance stressed that the war would likely end at the negotiating table, noting the impact of success on the battlefield on the outcome of these negotiations. He stressed that the alliance must ensure that the Ukrainians have everything they need to deter this aggression.

“Moscow is preparing for new offensives,” he said, and allies and partners must continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to win.

“If the world doesn’t come together and let Putin do what he is doing, then we will pay a much higher price later. Putin made a strategic mistake. He underestimated Ukraine’s ability to resist and the ability of European countries to unite,” Stoltenberg said.

Anthony Blinken recalled two new aid plans announced by the United States a few days ago with critical air defenses and defenses against Iranian drones used by Russia. He also confirmed his intention to continue supplying Ukraine with armored vehicles, Javelin anti-tank missiles, artillery, ammunition and missiles for HIMARS installations. The US foreign policy chief expressed confidence that the conflict will eventually be resolved at the negotiating table, but noted that the best way to hasten the prospects for genuine diplomacy is to continue to turn the tide on the battlefield in favor of Ukraine.

“The war started by President Putin continues to be his strategic failure. He failed to overthrow the democratically elected Ukrainian government. He failed to annex Ukraine to Russia or break the will of his people. He lost the battle of Kiev, Kharkov and Kherson. His army suffered considerable losses on the battlefield. And he failed to weaken our alliance. In fact, this alliance today is stronger and more united than ever,” Blinken said, stressing the importance of cooperation among NATO countries to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression.

During the visit, Stoltenberg also met with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives and other senior officials.

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