UKRAINE: Ukraine urged NATO members on November 29 to speed up weapons deliveries and help restore its shattered power grid, as Western allies vowed to bolster support to aid Kyiv through winter in the face of Russia’s attacks.
“NATO’s door is open,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg before presiding over the summit in the capital, Bucharest.
The Nov. 29–30 summit began in Bucharest with foreign ministers of NATO alliances, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
On the first day of the 2-day summit in Bucharest, they focused on pressing concerns: seeking ways to keep Ukrainians warm and safe while also sustaining Kyiv’s military through an upcoming winter campaign amid relentless Russian missiles and drone strikes.
On Tuesday, American representatives promised to donate $53 million to Ukraine to reconstruct its electrical grid and urged other allies to make comparable contributions.
Officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) spoke on Tuesday about their commitment to eventually allow Ukraine to become a member of the military alliance.
Ukraine has requested more modern air defense systems from NATO for several months.
As winter temperatures dropped below zero, Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure have left millions of Ukrainians without access to heat, water, or electricity.
Russian officials are “trying to use winter as a weapon of war,” stated General Jens Stoltenberg.
In the meantime, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who gave the order for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, and other top Kremlin figures rejected the claims that Russian forces are committing war crimes.
Ukraine’s call for justice
In a separate action on Tuesday, Olena Zelenska, Ukraine’s first lady, told members of the UK Parliament in London that the terror that Ukrainians were experiencing was comparable to what the UK had gone through during World War Two when Nazi Germany destroyed cities in the blitz.
Zelenska stated, “We need justice more than merely victory,” adding that she had “come before you for justice because it will lead to the end of this war.”
Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, listed the various Western air defence systems to reporters outside the NATO meeting, saying, “We need air defence, IRIS, Hawks, Patriots, and transformers (for our energy demands).”
As the two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers got underway in the Romanian capital, Stoltenberg said, “On the battlefield, Russia is actually losing. As a result of their inability to gain land, they are now assaulting civilian targets, including cities.”
His words were echoed by James Cleverly, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, who said that Russia wanted to “freeze the Ukrainians into submission.”
Later on Tuesday, Nato released a statement saying that Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy and civilian grids had “deprived millions of fundamental human services.”
“Members of NATO would help Ukraine repair its energy infrastructure and defend its citizens from missile assaults,” the statement continued.
Speaking with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a joint news conference, Stoltenberg declared: “We will stand by Ukraine for however long it takes; we will not back down.”
Meanwhile, Kuleba said that when he met with senior Nato officials last time, his words were “weapons, weapons, weapons.”
But now he has three more words: “faster, faster, faster,” “We appreciate what has been done, but the war goes on. In a nutshell, Ukraine needs transformers and patriots the most,” he added.
Deliveries of such advanced missile systems are being considered, Stoltenberg stated.
Energy workers in Ukraine are still working tirelessly to restore water and power to millions of people despite concerns that Russia may be preparing another round of missile attacks.
Ukrenergo, the nation’s power company, announced on Tuesday that 30% of the nation’s electrical requirements are still unmet and that power rationing will continue.
In many areas of Ukraine, winter has arrived with snow and below-freezing temperatures. There are worries that hypothermia could cause fatalities across the nation.