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NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Bulgaria: if Ukraine cannot attack targets on Russian territory, it is not able to defend itself

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The NATO Parliamentary Assembly called on Monday for Ukraine to be allowed to use weapons received from allies against military targets in Russia. The head of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, emphasized that decisions on this matter rest with the countries that provided such assistance.

The North Atlantic Alliance should play a greater role in coordinating and planning military assistance for Ukraineand also engage in developing a multi-year financial assistance program for this country, said the NATO Secretary General at the meeting concluding the three-day meeting in the capital BulgariaSofia.

He emphasized that the unprecedented and generous assistance of NATO allies to Ukraine helped it liberate 50 percent of the territories occupied by Russia at the beginning of the war, but a recent slowdown in the delivery of promised support has had a negative impact on combat operations.

Stoltenberg on the issue of attacking military targets on Russian territory

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Stoltenberg stressed that allowing Ukraine to use the military aid it has received to attack military targets on Russian territory is not the responsibility of NATO, but of the individual countries that provided weapons to Kiev.

– It is time to consider whether certain restrictions on the use of shared weapons should be lifted. We see (after the situation) in Kharkov that the front and the border converge to a greater or lesser extent. If Ukraine cannot attack targets on Russian territory, it cannot defend itself, because that is where it is attacked with missiles and artillery. And (Ukraine) has the right to defend itself, he emphasized.

NATO is not planning a training mission in Ukraine, Ukrainian soldiers are trained in NATO countries. However, at the Alliance summit in Washington scheduled for July, a decision will be made to develop a multi-annual framework for financial assistance for Ukraine, he added.

Jens Stoltenberg in the capital of BulgariaEPA/VASSIL DONEV

Stoltenberg: NATO is adaptable

Stoltenberg identified three main topics to be discussed at the July summit. These include improving the defense capabilities of allies, supporting Ukraine, and regional partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region.

“NATO is the most effective alliance in history because it can change and adapt in an ever-changing world,” Stoltenberg said.

The head of Bulgaria's interim government, Dimitar Glavchev, emphasized that NATO is the most stable guarantor of the country's security. At the same time, he said that the Black Sea region was seriously affected by the conflict in Ukraine and the Alliance should increase its presence there.

Main photo source: EPA/VASSIL DONEV

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