June 29, 2022

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Nato states agree to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine

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Nato member states have agreed to supply new types of advanced weaponry to Ukraine, alliance representatives have said, as Kyiv prepares for a fresh offensive by Russia in the country’s east.

The pledge came after a plea from Ukraine’s foreign minister for western countries to move faster with fresh supplies or instead see “many people die . . . because this help came too late”.

Six weeks since Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow’s troops have largely withdrawn from territory north of Kyiv after failing to seize the capital but are regrouping and rearming ahead of an attempt to advance in the eastern Donbas region, Ukrainian and western officials say.

That has sparked demands from Kyiv for western countries to supply more heavy weapons, armour and more advanced systems. Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said he would use a Nato meeting in Brussels to ask for aircraft, missiles, armoured vehicles and heavy air defence systems, among others.

UK foreign secretary Liz Truss told reporters after the meeting that member states had backed giving more weapons.

“There was support for countries to supply new and heavier equipment to Ukraine, so that they can respond to these new threats from Russia,” she said. “And we agreed to help Ukrainian forces move from their Soviet-era equipment to Nato standard equipment, on a bilateral basis.”

Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, said Washington was looking at sending “new systems” to Ukraine.

“We are not going to let anything stand in the way of getting Ukrainians what they need,” he said. “We are looking across the board right now, not only at what we have provided . . . [but] whether there are additional systems that would make a difference.”

The promise of more military aid came as Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, admitted Russia had suffered “significant losses of troops” during its invasion of Ukraine, which he…

2022-04-07 14:33:30

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