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G7 hears calls for 'critical' Ukraine aid

By AFP

April 19, 2024 12:25 AM


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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a G7 meeting Thursday that Ukraine had an "urgent, critical need for more air defence", as Kyiv's foreign minister pressed allies for more Patriot systems.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven developed nations, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, are gathering on the Italian island of Capri from Wednesday to Friday.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba joined counterparts from Italy, the UK, the US, Japan, Canada, France and Germany for a working session dedicated to the conflict on Thursday.

Kuleba called for other countries to follow Germany, which at the weekend said it was sending an additional Patriot air defence system to Kyiv.

"We will work here at the ministerial (meeting) to make other allies deliver air-defence systems to Ukraine, because it’s of fundamental importance," Kuleba told reporters ahead of the session.

Ukraine has said it is running out of weaponry to shoot down Russian missiles and drones as Moscow has ramped up its attacks on infrastructure across the country.

Stoltenberg said there had been "important, encouraging signs" of new support from NATO allies, including the scheduling of a US Congressional vote this weekend on a long-stalled $61-billion-euro package of aid.

"It's of vital importance that NATO allies sustain and step up their support... There's an urgent, critical need for more air defence," Stoltenberg said.

Earlier, Blinken stressed the need for the US Congress to agree the new aid.

"At this moment, it is urgent that all of the friends and supporters of Ukraine maximise their efforts to provide... Ukraine with what it needs to continue to effectively defend itself against the Russian aggression," Blinken said.


AFP


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