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‘No sense of fatigue’ when it comes to support for Ukraine, Blinken says


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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a press conference following the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting on Ukraine at its Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium November 29, 2023. SAUL LOEB/Pool via REUTERS Acquire Licensing Rights

BRUSSELS, Nov 29 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that there was “no sense of fatigue” among NATO allies when it came to helping Ukraine.

“We must and we will continue to support Ukraine,” he said after a NATO-Ukraine meeting in Brussels, adding that NATO allies were unanimous on this position and that he was also hearing continued support for Ukraine in both chambers of the U.S. Congress.

Kyiv has been concerned that the Israel-Hamas war could divert international attention away from its efforts to defeat Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the West earlier on Wednesday to ramp up arms production.

The European Union has delivered about 300,000 of its promised 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine so far, he said.

“We need to create a Euro-Atlantic common area of defence industries,” Kuleba said before meeting the NATO foreign ministers, adding this would ensure both Ukraine’s security and that of NATO countries themselves.

Kyiv has recently engaged in a concerted drive to entice leading global arms manufacturers to set up operations in Ukraine, part of a bid to diversify its reliance on weapons and ammunition given by its allies.

“It is important that our solidarity with Ukraine is not only demonstrated in words but also in deeds,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, urging allies to do more. “These are concrete actions, we need more of them and we need sustained and stepped up support.”

Russia has amassed a large missile stockpile ahead of winter, Stoltenberg warned.

Russia “is now weaker militarily, politically and economically,” he said. “At the same time we must not underestimate Russia,” he added, stressing that Russia had been making new attempts to strike Ukraine’s power grid and energy infrastructure, “trying to leave Ukraine in the dark and cold.”

Reporting by Andrew Gray, Benoit Van Overstraeten and Humeyra Pamuk; Additional reporting by Max Hunder in Kyiv; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Christina Fincher

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Humeyra Pamuk is a senior foreign policy correspondent based in Washington DC. She covers the U.S. State Department, regularly traveling with U.S. Secretary of State. During her 20 years with Reuters, she has had postings in London, Dubai, Cairo and Turkey, covering everything from the Arab Spring and Syria’s civil war to numerous Turkish elections and the Kurdish insurgency in the southeast. In 2017, she won the Knight-Bagehot fellowship program at Columbia University’s School of Journalism. She holds a BA in International Relations and an MA on European Union studies.

Andrew is a senior correspondent for European security and diplomacy, based in Brussels. He covers NATO and the foreign policy of the European Union. A journalist for almost 30 years, he has previously been based in the UK, Germany, Geneva, the Balkans, West Africa and Washington, where he reported on the Pentagon. He covered the Iraq war in 2003 and contributed a chapter to a Reuters book on the conflict. He has also worked at Politico Europe as a senior editor and podcast host, served as the main editor for a fellowship programme for journalists from the Balkans, and contributed to the BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent radio show.

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