BRUSSELS, February 13. /TASS/. NATO Defense Ministers will discuss potential shipment of warplanes to Ukraine during the February 14-15 meeting in Brussels, but it will take a lot of time, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference ahead of the meeting.
"We need to distinguish between two things: […] whether then NATO should establish a no-fly zone in Ukraine, and send in NATO planes to enforce the no-fly zone. That is a very different thing from what is discussed now, and that is the possibility of NATO allies delivering aircraft to Ukraine so that they can use them themselves. Those two are very, very different things," he said, arguing that operation of NATO pilots in Ukraine would be a "direct involvement" in the ongoing conflict.
He emphasized that the discussion and shipment of warplanes will take significant time, while Ukraine need urgent supplies, thus it is necessary for all involved countries to fulfill their current obligations on weapons shipment.
The Secretary General underscored that, apart from discussion of new platforms that could be shipped to Ukraine, it is necessary to ensure that these weapons are actually in working condition, that they are supplied with adequate ammunition, spare parts and maintenance options, which he called a huge logistic task.
Stoltenberg also noted that NATO is already making plans to make the Ukrainian army even stronger after the conflict, and to switch it to NATO’s military doctrine and vehicles, regardless of how the conflict ends.