NATO chief says allies have to be prepared for new Russian offensives

The NATO secretary-general on Thursday stressed the importance of accelerating military support to Kyiv, saying Russia is expected to launch new offensives in Ukraine where it launched a "special military operation" last February.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Jens Stoltenberg said battle tanks will make a big difference and help Ukrainians repel Russian offensives.​​​​​​

"But also help them to be able to retake territory, to liberate more Ukrainian lands and to win this war to prevail as a sovereign, independent nation," he said, adding: "We all know that the Russians are planning for new offensives."

He added that Russia is ramping up production of artillery ammunition, reaching out to Iran and North Korea to get more weapons and has mobilized more than 200,000 additional troops to launch new offensives.

In response to a question whether NATO allies and partners would consider air support to Kyiv, Stoltenberg said the main focus for now has been on air defense, and allies have provided a lot of air defense systems to Ukraine.

Separately, in an interview with Sky News, the 30-member military alliance chief once again welcomed the announcements by the UK, Germany, and other allies on battle tank support to Ukraine.

Without giving the exact time regarding the delivery of tanks, Stoltenberg said it takes some time to train Ukrainian personnel but he is confident that this will go as quickly as possible.

Germany on Wednesday announced it will supply 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv, train Ukrainian troops to use the tanks and also provide licenses to other European countries that wish to supply Leopards from their own stock.

The US, meanwhile, will send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, while training of Ukrainian troops will begin "as soon as possible," according to President Joe Biden.

Britain has already said it will send 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Souce: AA

Leave a Comment