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Stoltenberg, in Kiev, sees progress in Ukrainian counteroffensive

Sep 29, 2023

Kiev [Ukraine], September 29: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met President VolodymyrZelensky in Kiev on Thursday during his second visit to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February last year.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Stoltenberg said that Ukrainian troops are "gradually gaining ground" in the counteroffensive against the Russian invaders.
"Every metre that Ukrainian forces regain is a metre that Russia loses. And there is a stark contrast: Ukrainians are fighting for their families, their future, their freedom. Moscow is fighting for imperial illusions," he said.
Zelensky announced a new joint document setting out practical steps for Ukraine to reach NATO standards.
His government has for months been pushing for Ukraine to become a full member of both NATO and the European Union once the war with Russia is over.
In July, NATO leaders agreed the alliance would extend an invitation to Ukraine to join but, to Kiev's disappointment, gave no concrete timeline.
"Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever before," Stoltenberg said, mentioning the defence alliance had put Ukraine on a "shortened" path to membership.
Zelensky also expressed thanks for continuing support from NATO members, while stressing the need for further assistance in cybersecurity and air defence. The meeting was kept secret for security reasons. Stoltenberg last visited Ukraine on April 20.
Source: Qatar Tribune