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Stoltenberg: NATO members provide USD 43 bln aid to Ukraine

KUWAIT, May 31 (KUNA) -- NATO Foreign Ministers Friday concluded two days of informal meetings in Prague, Czechia on Friday after discussing the situation in Ukraine, which receives USD 43 billion every year from NATO members.
"Allies have provided approximately 40 billion euros (USD 43 billion) worth of military aid to Ukraine each year," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference after the meeting today.
"NATO members must maintain "at least" current levels of support to Ukraine "for as long as necessary," he emphasized.
Asked about the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO, he replied that "Allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance. We are working on how to move Ukraine closer to membership ...but the timing of the invitation depends on when there will be consensus and when the conditions are met." Asked to comment on the announcement yesterday by the US, Germany and some other NATO members about possibly using western-supplied arms to Ukraine striking into Russia, he said "we need to adapt and evolve our support as the war evolves. And of course, we addressed these issues in the meeting today, and will continue to coordinate very closely." Further, he accused China, Iran and North Kore of providing military support to Russia, saying "there is no doubt that China is playing a key role in enabling the Russians to produce the weapons they use to attack Ukraine." "And in return, Moscow is mortgaging its future to Beijing. And then on top of that, you have North Korea providing big amounts of ammunition and Iran providing drones and other types of weapons to Russia," he added. (end) hm