On Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made an unanticipated visit to Kyiv ahead of a summit meeting focused on the future of the Ukraine war.
He joins a growing list of officials who have recently traveled to the region in an effort to sway the momentum as the conflict enters a new phase, US News reported.
In a recent visit to Kyiv, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed his pleasure to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and tweeted that it was an honor to be back in Kyiv.
He also made a bold statement that Ukraine belongs in NATO and that their support will make this possible over time.
Although NATO is not directly involved in the Ukraine conflict, they have been instrumental in organizing Western support for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, including training Ukrainian troops and facilitating weapon shipments.
President Zelenskyy has long been a proponent of Ukraine joining NATO, but this is currently seen as unlikely as it could lead to a war with Russia.
However, Stoltenberg’s visit and statements show an increased level of Western support for Ukraine ahead of an anticipated spring offensive, which Russia may seek to capitalize on.
According to a diplomatic source cited by Russian state news service Tass, Stoltenberg’s visit to Ukraine was viewed by the Kremlin as another example of NATO’s special attention to the country, as reported by US News.
The Kremlin has frequently disseminated unproven propaganda claims alleging that NATO and Western militaries are directly involved in the Ukrainian conflict, which supports Putin’s claim that his invasion of Ukraine is aimed at countering an existential threat to Russia.
The source suggested that Stoltenberg’s visit was the final stage in preparing for the meeting of the U.S.-led Ukraine Contact Group in Ramstein, Germany, where military support measures for Ukraine would be discussed in anticipation of a potential Ukrainian army counteroffensive.
Written by staff