US help for Ukraine is not too late: NATO chief

Washington/Kiev, Apr 22 (IANS/DPA): The US House of Representatives approval -- after months of wrangling -- of a nearly $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine has not come too late, but the delay has had real consequences, NATO's Chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

"The Ukrainians are now four months being outgunned," Stoltenberg told US broadcaster MSNBC on Sunday.

"The Russians have had much more ammunition. And Ukraine has been forced to ration their ammunition," the NATO Chief said.

"But it's not too late. The Ukrainians have demonstrated enormous skill in defending their country."

On Saturday, after months of deadlock, the US House of Representatives approved the multibillion-dollar aid package by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. It includes urgently needed arms supplies for defence against Russia.

The necessary Senate approval is considered certain and is expected in the middle of the week.

US President Joe Biden, a strong supporter of the bill, must then sign it into law.

Stoltenberg emphasised that there are still no plans for a NATO combat presence in Ukraine.

However, NATO partners have the right to help Ukraine. This does not make NATO a party to the conflict.

"But of course several NATO allies have men and women in uniform at the embassies, giving advice," said the NATO Chief when asked about a Politico report on the deployment of additional US military advisors.

The report said the US was considering sending additional advisers to its embassy in Kiev.

These advisers would not take part in combat operations, but would advise and support the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian military, the report added.



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Title: US help for Ukraine is not too late: NATO chief

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