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Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, Belgium, on Dec. 4, 2023. (NATO Pressroom)
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Defense Minister Rustem Umerov met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, NATO announced on Dec. 4.

With the onset of winter "expected to complicate fighting," Umerov and Stoltenberg discussed "latest battlefield developments and Ukraine's urgent military needs," NATO said.

Stoltenburg "stressed that Allies are committed to stepping up political and practical support to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia's invasion."

The two also discussed reform efforts in Ukraine, as well as making Ukraine's forces interoperable within NATO.

Umerov wrote on X that ensuring the interoperability of Ukrainian forces within NATO was a "practical step" that the Defense Ministry is working on to "bring our country closer to NATO membership."

"Ukraine's membership in NATO is inevitable," Umerov wrote. "Our country chose that path a long time ago."

Stoltenberg said during a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Nov. 29 that he was impressed by the pace of Ukraine's reforms, as well as the commitment of the Ukrainian government and people to implement them amid the full-scale war.

The comments came during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, which was also attended by Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba.

Jens Stoltenberg met with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels on Nov. 29 during the NATO-Ukraine Council meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

"We both agree that Euro-Atlantic defense industries need to work as one system in order to both ramp up supplies to Ukraine and strengthen NATO allies. This priority resonates well with them," Kuleba said on X, following his meeting with Stoltenberg on Nov. 29.

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