NATO Secretary General statement ahead of Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, 21 APR 2023

21.04.2023 • 1080p
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg remarks ahead of the meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, 21 April 2023. The meeting is hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. It will focus on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the related security issues facing NATO Allies and partners. 🗣 | NATO Secretary General: Good morning, I look forward to meet with NATO defence ministers and ministers from partner countries at the Ukraine Contact Group led by United States, and we will discuss how to sustain and step up our support for Ukraine. I just came back from Kyiv yesterday night and I met with President Zelenskyy, and his message was that he really appreciate and welcomes the strong support NATO Allies and partners have provided for Ukraine, but also counts on us to continue to support Ukraine in the future. My message to him was that NATO has stood by Ukraine for a long time. We continue to stand by Ukraine as they continue to repel the Russian aggression against their country. And we will stand by Ukraine in the future to help to build a better and brighter future for the Ukrainian people. President Zelenskyy and I also discussed the preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius in July. I have invited him to attend the meeting and I'm glad that he has accepted the invitation and will attend the NATO Summit in Vilnius. We discussed the preparations and I highlighted that there are at least two issues that will be important for Ukraine. One is that I expect NATO Allies at the Summit to recommit to support Ukraine for as long as it takes with substantial military support to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent nation in Europe, and I also expect NATO Allies to agree a multi-year program to help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era equipment, standards, doctrines, to NATO standards and doctrines, and to ensure full interoperability between Ukrainian forces and NATO forces. So I'm looking forward to the meeting now, and I'm ready to answer your questions.