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Zelenskyy meets NATO chief, US Secretary of Defence in Brussels

In particular, they discussed the importance of strengthening air defence in the run-up to the winter period, as well as approving a programme to implement NATO principles and standards in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy meets NATO chief, US Secretary of Defence in Brussels
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomes Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Brussels, 11 October 2023
Photo: EPA/UPG

In Brussels, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin.

Zelenskyy noted the important leadership role of the Secretary General in coordinating the work of the Allies and making decisions in support of Ukraine.

He thanked Jens Stoltenberg for participating in the first international Defence Industry Forum in Ukraine.

"I am grateful for your strong signal during the forum that Ukraine needs high quality, large quantities and fast means to stop drones and intercept missiles," Zelenskyy said.

He also noted the importance of Ukraine's cooperation with the world's leading arms manufacturers to implement NATO standards in the defence industry and enhance interoperability with the Alliance.

He expressed hope that during today's meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council at the level of defence ministers and the meeting of NATO defence ministers tomorrow, member states would take further positive decisions on the supply of weapons and military equipment to our country, as well as on the provision of other necessary assistance.

Zelenskyy emphasised the importance of strengthening Ukraine's air defence ahead of the winter period.

"Winter is a big challenge. We really need the help of our partners to protect critical infrastructure. Air defence is not just a military issue. It affects the normalcy of life, how the economy will work, how taxes will be paid to meet the needs of the army and our defence against Russian aggression. It also determines how many people will return to Ukraine from abroad," he noted.

The president thanked the United States for the new military assistance package and informed Lloyd Austin about the urgent needs of the Ukrainian army. In particular, he emphasised the importance of supplying frontline air defence systems, electronic warfare systems and artillery shells.

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