Nato to send 'comprehensive assistance package' to Ukraine

Besieged nation suffering 'brutality never seen in Europe since Second World War', says Jens Stoltenberg

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez give a speech at the Nato summit in Madrid on Tuesday. AP
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Nato’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday said the Western military organisation will agree to a comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine during talks in Spain this week.

Madrid is set to host the most important summit of the alliance in recent years, with member states and non-Nato allies such as South Korea and Australia attending. They are expected to discuss measures to combat Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

“We will agree to a comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine, we are ready to continue our support as Ukraine faces a brutality in Europe that we have not seen since the Second World War,” Mr Stoltenberg told a press conference in Madrid.

The Secretary General, speaking alongside the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, said the summit would be “transformative and pivotal” in which member states will agree to a new strategic concept for the alliance.

“The objective is to convey a message of unity,” Mr Stoltenberg said. "If we want to defend ourselves better, we will have to invest more."

He said the summit would be "a turning point. It will be the guide for Nato in a more unpredictable and dangerous world."

He said he hoped member states would make progression on the accession of Finland and Sweden.

Both have applied to join Nato after Russia 's invasion but the main obstacle is Turkey, which has objected to their potential membership.

Mr Sanchez said: "For Finland and Sweden [joining Nato], we are convinced if it's not now, then later, but eventually they will join the alliance.

"We will define what threats we will face, now and in the future, specify the resources we will make available to counter these threats and to consolidate an Atlantic Alliance after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine."

Mr Stoltenberg on Monday said Nato would boost the number of troops on its eastern flank within its rapid response force — made up of land, air, sea and special forces units — to 300,000 from about 40,000 personnel.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the international community, calling for more heavy weaponry and help to end the war before winter sets in.

Updated: June 28, 2022, 12:32 PM