Ukraine has received nearly all pledged combat vehicles, NATO chief claims

US-led NATO allies and partners have provided Ukraine with 1,550 armored vehicles and 230 tanks, chief of the US-led military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg has claimed.

Since the start of the war in February last year “more than 98 percent of the combat vehicles promised to Ukraine have been delivered,” Stoltenberg said on Thursday, as he spoke at a news briefing alongside Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

Stoltenberg noted that the Contact Group led by the United States, NATO Allies and partners have provided unprecedented support to Ukraine including delivering vast amounts of ammunition to the country during the conflict.

“In total we have trained and equipped more than nine new Ukrainian armored brigades. This will put Ukraine in a strong position to continue to retake occupied territory,” he added.

NATO chief further added that burden-sharing will be an important topic for the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius in July, claiming: “In a more dangerous world, we must invest more, and better, in our defense.”

In Stoltenberg’s first visit to Kiev last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked NATO to help Ukraine gain access to more weapons to continue its war against Russia.

For his part, Stoltenberg claimed Ukraine’s rightful place was in the Western military alliance and that membership and security guarantees for Ukraine would be high on the agenda of NATO’s summit in July.

In recent developments, Chinese President Xi Jinping on a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Zelensky on Wednesday said the only way to end the war in Ukraine is negotiation between Kiev and Moscow and that “there is no winner in a nuclear war.”

The phone call, which was initiated by Kiev and lasted nearly an hour, came two months after Beijing, which has long been aligned with Russia, said it wanted to act as a peace mediator in the war and proposed a 12-point peace plan in February, calling for an immediate “political settlement” to the conflict, and an end to unilateral US-led sanctions on Moscow.

Moscow reacted to the phone call, with Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying, “We note the readiness of the Chinese side to make efforts to establish a negotiation process.”

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