NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, reiterated support for Ukraine and its hopes to join the military alliance.
Foreign ministers from NATO countries concluded two days of meetings in Brussels on Wednesday, addressing support for Ukraine, preparations for its Washington summit, and pressing security challenges.
The second day of the military alliance’s gathering also saw the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council, attended by Kyiv’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba.
He thanked NATO allies for their continued support, adding that Ukraine was not going to back down in its battle to regain territorial integrity within its “internationally recognised” 1991 borders.
Kuleba also stressed the importance of significantly ramping up the production of weapons, ammunition, and other military equipment, not only to help Ukraine, but “also to ensure security and defence capabilities of NATO countries themselves.”
"It will not be an exaggeration to say that defending Europe without Ukraine is a futile task. You cannot do it, simply, for one simple reason, because we currently have the strongest and the most battle-hardened army in Europe," he said.
At the gathering, NATO allies vowed to "remain steadfast in their commitment to further step up political and practical support to Ukraine.
"We remain unwavering in our commitment to Ukraine. We are determined that Ukraine will one day sit at this table as a full member of our alliance," NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg said in his opening address.
On the ongoing war, he said Ukraine had inflicted heavy losses on Russia and to Moscow’s international influence.
The secretary general said Russia has lost more than 300,000 men, hundreds of aircraft, and thousands of tanks in the invasion of Ukraine.
"All this underlines the strategic error of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin in invading Ukraine," Stoltenberg told a press conference at the end of the meeting.