NATO leaders have agreed to bolster military protection of the alliance’s border with Russia, while ignoring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for additional military equipment.
Zelenskyy delivered a virtual speech at an emergency NATO meeting in Brussels, where President Joe Biden and other world leaders agreed on Thursday to impose more sanctions and boost humanitarian aid, a months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But Zelenskyy said the alliance could “prevent civilian deaths” by sending more military equipment to Ukrainians fighting for their country.
“Ukraine has requested your planes. To not lose so many people. And you have thousands of fighter jets! But we haven’t received any yet,” Zelenskyy said, according to a translation transcription of his words. “You have at least 20,000 tanks! Ukraine has demanded that one percent — one percent — of all your tanks be donated or sold to us! But we don’t have a clear answer. »
Zelenskyy has not reiterated his demand for a no-fly zone or NATO membership, according to a senior administration official.
NATO leaders announced the creation of four multinational battlegroups, which will be located in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The alliance too announcement that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would serve for another year, until September 30, 2023.
“Today, NATO leaders agreed to reset our longer-term deterrence and defense to address a new security reality,” Stoltenberg told a news conference, adding that more than Details on the alliance’s new security posture are expected to be announced at the next press conference. NATO summit in Madrid in June, where allies will approve a new guide strategic concept document.
NATO allies have expressed strong support for Ukraine, but have been wary of directly provoking Russia into a conflict with the alliance that could mean World War III. But Zelenskyy warned that if the alliance does not act to help the Ukrainians stop Moscow now, Russian leader Vladimir Putin will only push further into Eastern Europe.
“NATO may be afraid of Russia’s actions. I’m sure you already understand that Russia has no intention of stopping in Ukraine,” he said. “He wants to go further against the eastern members of NATO, the Baltic states, Poland… Will NATO then stop thinking about it, worrying about Russia’s reaction?”
Biden has touted the aid the United States has provided so far, telling a press conference after the NATO meeting that his administration had approved $2 billion in military aid to Ukraine. since January 2021, including anti-aircraft systems, shoulder-mounted anti-armour missiles, small arms, ammunition and drones in an $800 million package on March 16. Countries including Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UK have also approved the delivery of military equipment to Ukraine, according to a NATO report Release.
But the emergency meeting focused on non-military deliverables the allies could use to punish Russia and help Ukraine. The United States announced $1 billion in humanitarian aid for Ukraine, plus another $320 million to fight for democracy and human rights in the country, according to a White House. fact sheet. The administration is also spending more than $11 billion over the next five years to protect global food supply chains and has announced that the United States will host up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Russian violence.
On Friday, Biden will fly to Poland, where he hinted he would meet with refugees, before adding that he’s “not supposed to say where I’m going.”
The United States too announcement new sanctions in coordination with the European Union and the G7 that will target more than 300 members of the Russian legislature and 48 state-owned defense companies.
“Putin was betting on the NATO split,” Biden said. “In my first conversations with him in December and early January, it was clear to me that he didn’t think we could maintain this cohesion. NATO has never, ever been as united as it is. is today.
Biden’s speech was quickly dismissed by Republicans as not going far enough to help Ukrainian citizens under daily Russian attacks.
“With all due respect to President Biden: unity in NATO doesn’t matter as long as Ukraine is being destroyed,” said Senator Lindsay Graham, RS .VS., tweetedadding that the United States should do “so much moreincluding anti-ship missiles and anti-aircraft defenses.
“The Ukrainian fighters showed great courage and great strength,” said Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., tweeted. “As he meets with world leaders, President Biden should offer Ukraine what it really needs to defend against Putin’s unprovoked war – MiGs and deadlier power. The United States must lead .