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Minister: Nordic, Baltic nations call on NATO to increase support for Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 10, 2024 9:06 PM 2 min read
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom speaks to the press during a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers at the EU Council headquarter in Brussels, Belgium on Jan. 22, 2024. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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The Nordic and Baltic countries support an increased role for NATO in aiding Ukraine’s fight against Russia, as well as Kyiv’s bid to join the European Union, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom told reporters on April 10, according to Reuters.

While being united as a bloc against Russia’s full-scale invasion, levels of support between NATO member states, as well as their public statements on the threat to European security that the Kremlin poses, vary.

NATO members geographically closer to Russia, such as the Nordic and Baltic states, have been particularly outspoken.

"We support an increased role for NATO in providing security-related assistance to Ukraine and coordinating military support and equipment," Billstrom said after a meeting of Nordic and Baltic foreign ministers, as cited by Reuters.

According to Billstrom, the meeting participants also agreed to assemble a group of experts that will help support Ukraine's efforts to join the EU.

"This offers an opportunity to facilitate Ukraine's path towards membership in the European family," the minister added.

Sweden officially joined NATO on March 7, almost two years after it applied to join the alliance in a direct response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and in a reversal of 200 years of formal military neutrality.

Billstrom previously said that NATO was not doing enough for Ukraine, and some countries in the alliance did not "understand that the conflict is here and that we need to deal with it."

As Ukraine faces increasingly severe ammunition shortages, European allies have been seeking to fill the gap left by the decrease in U.S. aid, which has been blocked for months by domestic political disputes.

Swedish defense minister on stepping up Ukraine aid and a new era in European security
In March 2024, Sweden became NATO’s 32nd member state after a lengthy application process triggered by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Joining the alliance comes at arguably the most turbulent time in European security since the end of the Cold War, with Russia scaling up its military indu…
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