As he opened a two-day summit in Romania, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that while Ukraine will eventually join the alliance, the most pressing concern right now should be arming Kyiv’s military and providing non-lethal assistance as the winter approaches. NATO foreign ministers pledged to support Ukraine and help repair its energy infrastructure amid a wave of Russian attacks that have knocked out power supplies and heating for millions of Ukrainians.
“Russia’s aggression, including its persistent and unconscionable attacks on Ukrainian civilian and energy infrastructure, is depriving millions of Ukrainians of basic human services,” the foreign ministers said in a statement after the first day of talks in Bucharest.
They condemned Russia’s cruelty against Ukraine’s civilians and promised to assist the country as it repairs its energy infrastructure. “We will continue and further step up political and practical support to Ukraine as it continues to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity…and will maintain our support for as long as necessary,” the statement noted.
Moreover, The United States grants $53m to support the purchase of power grid equipment to Ukraine to help Kyiv fight Russian attacks targeting its energy infrastructure.
“This equipment will be rapidly delivered to Ukraine on an emergency basis to help Ukrainians persevere through the winter,” a Department of State statement said, adding that the package would include distribution transformers, circuit breakers, and surge arresters, among other equipment.
Read More about NATO: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_52044.htm
Russia has been carrying out massive attacks on Ukraine’s electricity transmission and heating infrastructure roughly weekly since October, in what Kyiv and its allies say is a deliberate campaign to harm civilians and a war crime.
Ukraine detained the council of Kherson city:
Ukraine has arrested a deputy head of Kherson’s city council on suspicion of aiding and abetting Russian occupation forces, Ukraine’s state prosecutor said.
The prosecutor said the Kherson official, who was not named in the statement, cooperated with the occupation authorities and helped with the functioning of public services under the Russians.
The official faces up to 12 years in prison under the allegations if prosecuted and found guilty.
Ukraine has legislation criminalizing the act of collaboration, but the Kherson city council official is suspected of the slightly different crime of “assisting an aggressor state”.
What IAEA Chief Says about Russia?
The International Energy Agency expects Russian crude production to be curtailed by about 2 million barrels of oil per day by the end of the first quarter of next year, its chief, Fatih Birol, told Reuters news agency on the sidelines of an energy conference.
Birol added that Russia has lost Europe as its largest energy client “forever”.
US Involvement in Ukraine Conflict:
Russia is signaling to the United States that increasing involvement in the Ukrainian conflict brings growing risks, state news agency TASS quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.
The Interfax news agency also quoted Ryabkov as saying, “We are sending signals to the Americans that their line of escalation and ever more profound involvement in this conflict is fraught with dire consequences. The risks are growing.”
A US official told Reuters news agency that a special “deconfliction” line between the Russian and US militaries had been used once since the start of the war. Still, Ryabkov said he was not “aware” of any channels.
“We do not have any dialogue with the United States on the Ukraine topic because our positions are radically different,” he said.
Enlargement and Article 10:
NATO’s door remains open to any European country in a position to undertake the commitments and obligations of membership and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Since 1949, NATO’s membership has increased from 12 to 30 countries through eight rounds of enlargement. The Republic of North Macedonia became the latest country to join the Alliance on 27 March 2020.
Currently, five partner countries have declared their aspirations for NATO membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Sweden, and importantly Ukraine. Finland and Sweden completed accession talks, and the Allies signed the Accession Protocols for both countries in July 2022.
Following Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Finnish and Swedish ambassadors to NATO simultaneously conveyed the intent of their respective countries to join the Alliance by submitting official letters of application to NATO on 18 May.
They completed accession talks on 4 July, and their Accession Protocols were signed by the Allies on 5 July. Once Allies have ratified the Accession Protocols according to their national procedures, Finland and Sweden will be invited to accede to the Washington Treaty, officially becoming NATO Allies.
On the other hand, Moscow says it had “no other choice” but to cancel Nuclear Talks with the United States, adding that a meeting is unlikely to take place this year.