NATO Secretary General Makes Unannounced Visit to Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has made an unannounced visit to Kyiv and met with Volodymyr Zelensky, as reported by the official website of the President of Ukraine.
The discussions focused on enhancing Ukraine's air defence capabilities ahead of the winter, protection against Russian aggression, and increasing pressure on Russia. This included the possibility of supplying Ukraine with additional air defence systems by NATO member states.
"I am pleased to welcome NATO's Secretary General to Ukraine, and I am glad for our substantive conversation. Today, it is already a conversation de facto among allies, and it's just a matter of time before Ukraine becomes a full member of the Alliance. We are doing everything to expedite this process," said President Zelensky during a press conference with representatives of the media.
Jens Stoltenberg, on his part, emphasized that Ukraine enjoys strong support from all NATO member countries. He stated that NATO members will continue to provide Ukraine with state-of-the-art equipment to counter Russian aggression, including tanks, modern air defence systems, and training for F-16 pilots.
"The stronger Ukraine becomes, the closer we come to ending Russian aggression," stressed the NATO Secretary General.
Furthermore, they extensively discussed the ongoing work towards Ukraine's integration with NATO. President Zelensky mentioned that the new format of cooperation initiated at the Vilnius Summit, the Ukraine-NATO Council, aims to facilitate Ukraine's path toward the Alliance and practical cooperation.
"Together with NATO, we are working on preparing a new document – the adapted Annual National Programme, which will outline practical steps for Ukraine to align with NATO's principles and standards," said Volodymyr Zelensky.
Additionally, President Zelensky and NATO Secretary General discussed the upcoming NATO Summit scheduled to be held in Washington next year. They agreed that this summit should yield positive outcomes for both Ukraine and NATO.
It was earlier reported that the French Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu arrived in Kyiv, accompanied by representatives from around twenty arms manufacturers, and the newly appointed British Defence Minister Grant Shapps also arrived in Kyiv.