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Ukraine receives a new arms package from the United States.  Real American leadership, says Stoltenberg

Ukraine receives a new arms package from the United States. Real American leadership, says Stoltenberg

Washington, DC (Aftenposten): The NATO chief has made a number of visits to Washington, DC this week.

NATO President Jens Stoltenberg met in the press with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and NATO President Jens Stoltenberg live on both sides of the Atlantic, but they still look a lot at each other.

“In the past 15 months, I’ve spent more time in Brussels than in any other city except Washington, DC,” Blinken said during a news conference Wednesday morning US time.

It happened after another meeting between the two, this time in the US capital. There, Blinken took the opportunity to boast of Stoltenberg’s “strong and consistent leadership” during the Ukraine War.

We are so glad he decided to continue working, Blinken said.

new power pack

Stoltenberg visited Washington on the same day it became clear that the United States was sending the HIMARS missile system to Ukraine.

This is exactly what they need to defend against the Russians, Blinken said.

The NATO chief was pleased with the decision.

This is an example of real American leadership, said Stoltenberg.

The new weapons system is the heaviest and most advanced the United States has offered the Ukrainians yet in the war, and the decision came after several weeks of urgent discussions in Washington.

On the other hand, the administration wants to help Ukraine resist the Russians. On the other hand, many warned that advanced missile systems would give the Ukrainians the opportunity to strike targets deep in Russia, which could lead to a sharp escalation of the conflict.

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Russian anger

The Russians, as expected, reacted very negatively to the news. They believe this increases the risk of the war in Ukraine escalating into a major war between Russia and the United States.

– We believe that the United States deliberately throws gasoline on the fire, says Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to NTB.

For their part, the Americans say that the Ukrainians gave them assurances that they would not use the new weapons system against targets inside Russia.

According to Blinkin, the goal of the United States is to give the Ukrainians as strong a hand as possible at the future negotiating table. During the press conference, Stoltenberg noted that the vast majority of wars end with a peaceful, negotiated solution.

“But what happens at the negotiating table, of course, depends entirely on the situation on the battlefield,” the NATO chief said.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken discussed, among other things, Turkey’s headache with the NATO chief when the two met on Wednesday.

Summit in four weeks

Stoltenberg’s visit to Washington comes as part of preparations for the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June. The war in Ukraine, the strengthening of NATO in Eastern Europe, the planned integration of Sweden and Finland as members of NATO will be central topics.

These issues are also affecting meetings in the US capital this week. NATO is now working hard to resolve the tangle over Turkey’s objections to Swedish and Finnish membership.

– Stoltenberg said my goal is to have this in place before the summit, but that 30 allies have to agree.

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He noted that Sweden and Finland have indicated their willingness to discuss Turkey’s demands.

More than qualified

Blinken also said he was “confident” that the difficult situation would be resolved.

Blinken stated that Sweden and Finland are eligible to join NATO.

In addition to Secretary of State Blinken, Stoltenberg will meet with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and CIA Director William J. Burns.

Stoltenberg will also deliver a lecture at Johns Hopkins University.

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