BRUSSELS, July 13. /TASS/. NATO is currently focused on providing military aid to Ukraine, not on its accession to the alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday, speaking at the meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and subcommittee on defense.
"The main focus now on Ukraine is to provide support to help Ukraine prevail as an independent sovereign nation, that’s the main focus, the focus is not on the membership now," he said. "But of course everything we do to help and support and also modernize Ukrainian defenses and security institutions will also move them closer to [NATO] membership."
He underscored that NATO is actively working on supplying more modern heavy weapons to Ukraine. He noted that the US, the UK and other NATO allies have ensured shipments of such weapons, including the long-range M142 HIMARS missile systems.
Meanwhile, Stoltenberg underscored that NATO does not consider itself a side of the conflict in Ukraine.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine in response to the aid request from the Donbass republics. He underscored that Russia does not plan to occupy Ukrainian territories, instead aiming to demilitarize and denazify the country. In response to Russia’s decision, Western states stated imposing large-scale anti-Russian sanctions and commenced weapons shipments to Ukraine already worth billions of dollars.