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4 Apr, 2024 15:47

NATO creates ‘joint mission’ in Ukraine – Poland

The new initiative will allow the bloc to support Kiev in a “more coordinated manner,” Radoslaw Sikorski said
NATO creates ‘joint mission’ in Ukraine – Poland

NATO countries have created a joint mission in Ukraine in order to expand the scope of support the US-led bloc can provide to Kiev, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski announced on Thursday.

Speaking to journalists following a meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of NATO, Sikorski declared that the bloc has decided to create a new “mission.” He stressed, however, that “this does not mean that we are going to war, but it does mean that we will now be able to use the coordination, training, planning capabilities of NATO to support Ukraine in a more coordinated manner.” 

Specifically, he pointed out that under the new initiative, Ukrainian troops will be more actively trained in Poland.

Sikorski earlier told reporters that the bloc members were planning to discuss the creation of a mission during a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers that concluded on Thursday. He explained at the time that the idea is “to use the capabilities of the pact to train Ukrainians, use logistics and other joint elements.” 

The Polish diplomat also suggested that such a format would not be “confrontational for Moscow.”

The head of the State Duma’s defense committee, Andrey Kartapolov, responded to the move by stating that the creation of a NATO mission in Ukraine could be an attempt to legalize the bloc’s next steps. “We will watch them carefully,” he told the news outlet RIA on Thursday.

Sikorski’s announcement comes as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has described the current state of relations between Russia and NATO as a “direct confrontation” and has accused the US-led military bloc of acting as a destabilizing factor in Europe.

Moscow has for years repeatedly criticized NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders and has cited the bloc’s policies and increased involvement in Ukraine as being among the key reasons for launching its offensive against Kiev in 2022.