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Meeting of ministers in Prague. Jens Stoltenberg: Ukrainians have the right to self-defense, also outside Ukrainian territory

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Jens Stoltenberg said during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers that Ukrainians have the right to self-defense, also outside Ukrainian territory. The secretary general of the alliance also said that “Ukraine can still win, but only with continuous, solid support from NATO allies.”

A two-day informal meeting of foreign ministers began on Sunday in Prague NATO countries. Poland is represented by the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski. The main topic of the ministers' discussion will be war in Ukraine and the prospects for further assistance and support in her conflict with Russia.

During the debate in the Czech Parliament, the Secretary General of NATO delivered a speech Jens Stoltenberg. – Ukraine he continues to fight bravely, but the challenges he faces are getting greater. Ukraine can still win, but only with continued, solid support from NATO allies, Stoltenberg said.

He presented the plans for the July NATO summit. – We plan to increase our support. Among other things, by playing a large role for NATO in coordinating security assistance and training and long-term financial involvement, he said.

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Jens Stoltenberg and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala in PraguePAP/EPA/NATO HANDOUT

Stoltenberg: Ukrainians have the right to self-defense, also outside Ukrainian territory

The NATO chief also says that “it's time” for members of the military alliance to reconsider some restrictions on the use of weapons they have supplied to Ukraine in support of the fight against Russia. Stoltenberg said that Ukrainians have the right to self-defense, also by striking military targets that are outside Ukrainian territory, e.g. on the border, and from which Russians launch attacks on Ukrainian forces.

Western countries have appeared increasingly divided in recent weeks over whether the Ukrainian military should be able to attack targets on Russian territory.

Some of Ukraine's allies argued that this was part of legitimate self-defense against invasion, while others expressed concern that it could draw the West into the conflict.

Meeting of the heads of foreign ministries of NATO countries in Prague

Czech media predict that one of the topics of the meeting may also be the issue of the Ukrainian army using Western weapons to attack targets in Russia. Commentators draw attention to the recurring issue of the possible presence of soldiers from NATO countries in Ukraine. There is also the issue of sending NATO training missions to a fighting country.

Other topics are also mentioned: the scale of participation in financing common defense and the implementation of these obligations, cooperation with the countries of the Far East and, of course, relations with Russia.

The main purpose of the informal meeting is to prepare for the July summit of the Alliance in Washington. The formula of an “informal meeting” does not provide for conclusions in the form of a statement or message. A source in the Czech Foreign Ministry said that the ministers would be able to discuss the most sensitive issues about which there may be ambiguity or even uncertainty.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/NATO HANDOUT

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