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NATO head praises German support for Ukraine before Bucharest meeting

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FILED - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference ahead of the NATO Foreign Ministers meetings in Bucharest on 29 and 30 November. Photo: -/NATO/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has praised Germany’s support of Ukraine in resisting the Russian invasion in remarks to the Sunday edition of the national daily Welt.

“Germany’s strong support is making a decisive difference,” Stoltenberg said. Germany has in the past come in for repeated criticism from senior Ukrainian officials for being slow in providing military equipment and refusing to provide heavy weaponry in particular.

Speaking two days before a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest, Stoltenberg said German weapons supplies were saving lives in Ukraine.

But he added: “We must all maintain our support for Ukraine and increase it.”

Among the weapons delivered by Germany is a modern Iris-T anti-aircraft system, intended for countering Russian missile and drone attacks. Three more are to follow next year.

Stoltenberg said that President Vladimir Putin was reacting to Russian setbacks “with increased brutality.” He pointed to the targeting of Ukrainian energy infrastructure ahead of the winter.

“Putin is trying to use the winter as a weapon, but he will not succeed,” the NATO head said.

©dpa

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