BRUSSELS, February 14. /TASS/. NATO does not consider itself a party to the conflict with Russia but will keep supplying more advanced and heavier weaponry to Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said upon his arrival at a meeting of the bloc’s defense ministers on Tuesday.
"Neither NATO nor NATO allies are party to the conflict. What we do as NATO allies and NATO, is to provide support to Ukraine. Ukraine is defending itself. Ukraine has the right to defend itself. And of course, we have the right to help Ukraine uphold the right for self-defense. So NATO and NATO allies are not party to the conflict, but we support Ukraine in the right of self-defense," the NATO chief said, replying to a corresponding question.
The type of weapons supplied to Ukraine "has evolved as the war has evolved," Stoltenberg said.
"In the beginning there was enormous focus on javelins, on anti-tank, light anti-tank weapons, and then we saw the urgent need for artillery and allies started to step up the delivery of advanced modern artillery. Then air defense has been a main focus and now heavy weaponry…," he said.
As Stoltenberg said, "actually since 2014, NATO has implemented the biggest reinforcements of collective defense in a generation, because the war didn't start in February last year. It started in 2014."
Tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and munitions are now a NATO priority in weaponry deliveries to Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.
"So the issue of aircraft is not the most urgent issue now. But it is an ongoing discussion. We have ongoing consultations among allies on the type of systems allies should deliver to Ukraine," he said.
"The urgent need now is to deliver what has always been promised" and this "will be a top issue at the meetings today here at NATO," Stoltenberg said.