Will not withdraw support for Ukraine, says NATO chief

By Anadolu Agency

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday said the allies will not withdraw support for Ukraine as Russian strikes continue to target Ukrainian cities.

“Our meeting here in Bucharest is sending a strong message of NATO unity and of sustained support for Ukraine. We will continue to support Ukraine, for as long as it takes. We will not back down,” said Stoltenberg at the end of the first day of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in the Romanian capital.

“Allies made additional pledges to NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine. This will fund urgent non-lethal support, including fuel and generators. Helping Ukraine to address the consequences of Russia’s strikes against their power grid,” said Stoltenberg.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba on Tuesday urged NATO members to act faster on delivering military and non-military aid to tackle the war with Russia.

Stoltenberg said at the meeting they also discussed Ukraine’s request for NATO membership.

“The Foreign Ministers affirmed NATO’s support for Ukraine’s right to choose its own path. We understand and respect Ukraine’s aspirations for membership,” Stoltenberg said.

Nordic countries’ NATO bid

Asked by Anadolu Agency whether Sweden is trying hard to eliminate Turkey’s concerns over the PKK terror group, Stoltenberg said that the two countries implemented the triple memorandum signed in Madrid.

“Sweden made a constitutional amendment, tightened the anti-terrorism law, some people were deported and arms export restrictions to Turkey were lifted,” said Stoltenberg.

He recalled that Turkey, Finland, and Sweden have established mechanisms to ensure that this would continue and would be a permanent effort to work together with Turkey.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in May, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

But Turkey voiced objections to their membership bids, accusing the two countries of tolerating and even supporting terror groups.

Turkey and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum in June at the NATO summit in Madrid to address Ankara’s legitimate security concerns, paving the way for the NATO membership of Finland and Sweden.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.


Answering another question by Anadolu Agency about how NATO was addressing the increased security concerns in the Western Balkan countries, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, Stoltenberg said that NATO is concerned about the region.

“We are concerned about Western Balkans. We have member countries from the region and we have partners in the region. We have the NATO KFOR mission in Kosovo with close to 4,000 troops having to reassure peace and stability and we also have headquarters in Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo,” said Stoltenberg.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is also attending the meeting.