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Although NATO allies “expect some sort of negotiation” with Russia over its war in Ukraine, they “are very focused on getting everything the Ukrainian military forces need” in the meantime, the United States ambassador to the military alliance, Julianne Smith, told CNN.

Regarding the United States specifically, Smith told CNN’s Becky Anderson on Wednesday that she “doesn’t see the US letting its foot off the gas. I see continued support.” 

She added that NATO would not be backing down to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and “will do everything we can to continue to apply pressure on Moscow to affect his strategic calculus.” 

NATO defense ministers are meeting in Brussels this week and a key topic of discussion has been dwindling ammunition stockpiles. Smith said allies would “continue to send strong signals to industry to turn on production lines where necessary,” adding that NATO members are now looking at multinational or pooled buying of ammunition to “send an even stronger incentive to the private sector.” 

With regards to fighter jets: Despite repeated requests from Ukraine, the Biden administration has flatly refused to entertain the idea of sending F-16 fighter jets to the embattled nation. 

“The United States does not have any plans currently to send F-16s or any other fighter jets,” Smith reiterated. “We’ve also been clear in that each country needs to determine for itself what kind of contribution it wants to make.” 

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO last spring, just months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the time that he would reject the effort, accusing the two countries of being “like guesthouses for terror organizations.” Those tensions have continued.

“This is a process we have to go through. What’s been remarkable is the speed with which 28 other allies have gone forward with the ratification process,” Smith said when asked whether any progress had been made in the ascension process. “But we want to continue to see those three countries come together and address some of the concerns that Turkey has raised.” 


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#Live #updates #Russias #war #Ukraine

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