NATO to discuss further Ukraine support in Bucharest’s marble halls

NATO to discuss further Ukraine support in Bucharest’s marble halls

NATO foreign ministers are in Bucharest for a two-day meeting starting on Tuesday to discuss further support for Ukraine in the midst of Russian missile attacks, including supplying more air defence.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday he expected the alliance members “to further step” up the provision of more air defence systems, ammunition, spare parts and training to Ukraine.

With missiles and drones targeting energy infrastructure, Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to “use the winter as a weapon of war against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

Talks are taking place in the marbled halls of the Palace of the Parliament in the Romanian capital, the scene of the alliance’s fateful decision in 2008 to formally declare that Georgia and Ukraine “will become members of NATO.”

Little progress on membership has happened since, however Ukraine’s NATO aspirations are viewed as a driving factor in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade and shatter Europe’s post-Cold War security situation.

As well as Ukraine’s urgent needs, long-term support to the country is also to be discussed, including a transition away from Soviet systems to modern Western military equipment, Stoltenberg said in a press conference last week.

Sweden and Finland’s foreign ministers, as formal invitees, are to observe the talks. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is invited as a guest to a dinner on Tuesday.

China is to be the focus of discussions on Wednesday. Stoltenberg also said the alliance is to also meet with the foreign ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova, all countries who are “facing Russian pressure in many different ways” amid the Ukraine war.