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NATO Summit. The main part starts on Wednesday. Antony Blinken: F-16s are on their way to Ukraine

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The main part of the NATO summit begins on Wednesday. On the sidelines of the event, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the first batch of American F-16 fighters is already being transported to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands. “These fighters will fly in the Ukrainian sky this summer,” he said.

The North Atlantic Alliance summit, organized in Washington and held on the 75th anniversary of NATO's establishment, began on Tuesday and will last until Thursday. The event is attended by, in addition to the leaders of the organization's member states, the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. Poland is represented by: the president Andrzej DudaMarshal of the Sejm Szymon Holowniahead of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski and the head of the Ministry of National Defense Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz.

The main part of the summit begins on Wednesday morning (afternoon Polish time). After the leaders of NATO countries arrive at the Convention Center in Washington, there will be an official welcome and a joint photo, as well as a meeting of heads of state. NATO countries in the framework of the North Atlantic Council. In the evening, the heads of state and government will be received for dinner at the White House by the President of the United States Joe Biden.

Blinken: F-16 transfer to Ukraine is currently underway

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken On the sidelines of the summit, he announced that “the transfer of F-16s is currently underway, arriving from Denmark and the Netherlands.” “These fighters will fly in Ukrainian skies this summer to ensure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against Russian aggression,” he said.

President Zelensky expressed his gratitude for the transfer of the aircraft in a post on Platform X. “I am grateful to the United States, Denmark and the Netherlands for taking practical steps to achieve the goal of all Ukrainians: to strengthen the Ukrainian Air Force with F-16s,” he wrote.

Stoltenberg: I ​​expect allies to agree to help Ukraine

In the morning, the head of the Alliance spoke to journalists Jens StoltenbergHe said, among other things, that this is a “historic summit” because it is the 75th anniversary of NATO, but also because “we are making significant decisions for the future.”

– I expect the allies to agree on a significant aid package for Ukraine, which will include five elements, he admitted. The first of them, he said, is the establishment of a NATO command for Ukraine, which “will provide assistance and training.”

The next things are “a long-term commitment to maintain our support for Ukraine and announcing immediate military support, including air defense systems.” The fourth element is “new bilateral security agreements between NATO allies and Ukraine.” “And finally, ultimately, we will all increase our efforts to ensure full interoperability between Ukrainian and NATO forces,” he added, pointing in this context to plans to establish a training center in Bydgoszcz – the NATO-Ukraine Analysis, Training and Education Center (JATEC).

– These five elements together constitute a strong bridge for Ukraine towards NATO membership – said the head of the North Atlantic Alliance. He added that “it is too early to say when Ukraine will become a NATO member”. – But I am convinced that the allies will confirm their commitment to Ukraine joining the Alliance – said Stoltenberg.

The NATO summit in Washington discusses issues related to the war in UkraineTVN24, Reuters

“We see no direct military threat”

Stoltenberg announced that the countries would ensure their ability to fulfill the obligations resulting from the new NATO defense plans. – Five hundred thousand soldiers will be on high alert in NATO. We will also integrate new ballistic defense systems in Poland – he announced. However, he assessed that the most important thing is that the member states are increasing their investments in defense.

– We committed ten years ago, at the NATO summit in 2014, that allies should spend two percent of GDP on defense. At that time, only three allies spent that two percent of GDP on defense. This year, twenty-three allies will reach that threshold. That's a huge difference. It means that our allies take security very seriously – he assessed.

– We do not see any direct military threat to any of the NATO allies. Russia is currently fully occupied with the war with Ukraine – he noted.

Jens Stoltenberg

Discussion at NATO's 75th anniversary summit. What are the main themes?

Discussion at NATO's 75th anniversary summit. What are the main themes?TVN24, Reuters

US Elections and NATO

Stoltenberg was also asked what significance the outcome could have for the Alliance. elections presidential elections in the USA.

– I think that regardless of the election results in the United States, it will remain a strong NATO ally – he said.

– First, it is in the best security interests of the United States for NATO to be strong. NATO is good for Europe, but it is also good for the United States. It makes the United States stronger and safer. We have what no superpower has. We have thirty allies and partners. Russia does not have it, China does not have it. The United States has NATO, it makes them stronger – he argued. – The second reason why the United States will remain a strong ally is that we have great support here from both sides: from Democrats and from Republicans – he continued, convincing that the entire American Congress supports the Alliance. – Third, the criticism of NATO by former President (Donald) Trump is not against NATO itself. It is against those NATO allies who do not spend enough on NATO. That has changed significantly. Defense spending increased very sharply last year – he emphasized.

Author:ads, acre/acb

Main image source: US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Farnsworth/DVIDS

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