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Ukrainian president, NATO chief discuss further military support, Vilnius summit


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday discussed further military support for Kyiv, and the upcoming alliance summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

"We welcome NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Kyiv, to Ukraine, which stands strong, free and sees the prospect of the complete liberation of our land from the Russian occupier,” Zelenskyy said, according to a statement by the Ukrainian Presidency.

The statement said Zelenskyy hailed Stoltenberg’s visit, which is the first since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February last year, as a sign that NATO is ready to start a new chapter of “ambitious decisions” in relations with Ukraine.

It further said that the meeting touched on four main issues – the upcoming meeting of Western defense ministers in the Ramstein format on Friday, further supply of certain types of weapons to Ukraine, preparation for the NATO summit in Vilnius, and security guarantees for Ukraine in its accession to the alliance.

Zelenskyy appealed to Stoltenberg to help overcome the “restraint” of partners in supplying Ukraine with long-range weapons, modern aviation, artillery, and armored vehicles.

"Inhibition of appropriate decisions is time lost for peace and the lives of our soldiers, who have not yet received the vitally necessary number of defense tools," Zelenskyy said.

The statement added that Zelenskyy thanked Stoltenberg for his verbal invitation to attend the NATO summit in Lithuania, saying that there is “no objective barrier that would prevent the adoption of political decisions on inviting Ukraine to the alliance” and that it is time for “appropriate decisions.”

“It is no longer possible to imagine the security of the Euro-Atlantic area without Ukraine, and people understand that," Zelenskyy said.

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