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Stoltenberg says NATO allies will provide more weapons to Ukraine

Stoltenberg says NATO allies will provide more weapons to Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a press conference following the virtual summit of NATO leaders, after Russia launched a large-scale military operation against Ukraine, in Brussels, Belgium, on February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Hermann

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday the alliance was deploying parts of a combat-ready response force and would continue to send weapons to Ukraine, including air defences, while saying Russia was trying to topple. Ukrainian government.

“We see the rhetoric and messages that strongly indicate that the goal is to remove the democratically elected government in Kiev,” he told a news conference after a virtual meeting of NATO leaders.

He said some of the 30 NATO member states had announced the type of weapons they would supply to Ukraine, including air defences, without elaborating. “Allies are very committed to continuing to provide support,” he said.

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Stoltenberg said NATO is deploying elements of its Rapid Response Force, which is made up of ground, air, naval and special operations forces, on Allied territory.

“We are now deploying the NATO Response Force for the first time in the context of collective defense,” he said.

Separately, Germany announced that it will deploy a company of troops in Slovakia where the soldiers will form part of a new NATO combat group to be created.

“We are working to quickly send a company to Slovakia,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told German public broadcaster ZDF television after talks with her Slovak counterpart.

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A company usually consists of 150-200 soldiers.

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(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Benoit van Overstreten) Editing by Philip Blinkensop, Alistair Bell and Leslie Adler

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