NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday (09 November 2022) thanked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for the United Kingdom’s key contributions to NATO and its strong support to Ukraine.
Speaking outside 10 Downing Street after talks with the Prime Minister, Mr Stoltenberg praised the UK for leading NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Estonia and for providing aircraft and ships to NATO patrols. He also welcomed the UK’s strong support to Ukraine, including providing training to close to 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers over the last few years.
The Secretary General stressed the importance of continuing to support Ukraine. “If President Putin wins in Ukraine, it will be disastrous for Ukrainians, but it would also make us more vulnerable, because the message to President Putin and to other authoritarian leaders would be that they can get away achieve their goals by using brutal military force.”
Asked about reports of a Russian military pullback from Kherson, the Secretary General said, “we have seen the announcement, but we will wait and see what actually happens on the ground”. He added: “It is encouraging to see how the brave Ukrainian forces are able to liberate more Ukrainian territory. The victories, the gains they are making belong to the brave and courageous Ukrainian soldiers, but the support they receive from the United Kingdom and from NATO Allies is also essential”.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Stoltenberg held talks with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly in London. The Secretary General also joined British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace at Lydd Army Camp, where Ukrainian troops are being trained by British, Canadian and Lithuanian forces. The Secretary General also met Ukrainian troops and praised them for their commitment and bravery as they continue to push back against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war of aggression.