NATO Secretary General makes surprise visit to Ukraine

Jens Stoltenberg 1

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Ukraine on Thursday on his first visit to the country since the start of the invasion undertaken by Russia in February 2022, sources from the Atlantic Alliance told EFE.

“The NATO Secretary General is in Ukraine. We will provide more information as soon as possible,” the allied sources said, without giving further details of the Norwegian politician’s agenda in Ukraine.

NATO has stressed on numerous occasions as an organization that it is not at war with Russia despite the practical assistance and non-lethal materiel support it is providing, including fuel, medical supplies, mobile satellite systems or pontoon bridges.

Until now, Stoltenberg had not traveled to Ukraine despite the fact that leaders of Alliance member countries have visited Kyiv on different occasions.

Ukraine is one of NATO’s main concerns, however, and it will once again be the protagonist at the next summit of allied leaders that will take place in July in Vilnius, to which the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, is invited to attend.

At the last meeting of the Alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels on April 4, they encouraged Ukraine to continue reforms, “even in difficult times” due to the war of aggression launched by Russia, to get closer to the Euro-Atlantic area.

In that meeting, after several years, a NATO-Ukraine Commission was also held, the main platform for dialogue between the two parties.

The ministers agreed to develop a multi-year initiative in support of Ukraine, to help ensure the country’s deterrence and defense, transition Soviet-era equipment and doctrines to NATO standards and increase interoperability.

Photo: Reuters

Stoltenberg said at the time that this demonstrates NATO’s “long-term commitment” to Ukraine and “brings the country closer” to “the Euro-Atlantic family,” as the allies remain “committed to NATO’s open door policy.” ”, he stressed.

Ukraine formally requested last September to join the Alliance in the full invasion of Russia and aspires to obtain a road map from the allied leaders at the Vilnius summit.

From NATO they insist that “the first step” and the “precondition” for any discussion about future membership of the Ukrainian Alliance is to make sure that the country prevails as a sovereign and independent nation.