March 5. 2024. 7:39

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Albania pledges more support for Ukraine at NATO Brussels meeting


Albanian Defence Minister Niko Peleshi took part in the two-day NATO Defence Ministers Meeting in Brussels this week, pledging more support for Ukraine while increasing stockpiles and strengthening deterrence and defence.

Defence ministers took decisions to further strengthen the deterrence and defence of the Alliance, which included approving new guidance for NATO defence planning.

“This reflects the reality that we live in a more dangerous world. With Russia’s aggressive behaviour, the persistent threat of terrorism, and the challenges posed by China. It will drive the capability changes for the years to come. And ensure that our deterrence and defence remain strong and credible ” said NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg.

Measures include the need to ramp up industrial capacity and work closely with industry, as well as reviewing NATO capability targets for munition stockpiles, according to NATO.

Peleshi also participated in the meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine and a meeting regarding the Group-Batallion led by Canada in Latvia. He described the meeting as coming at a “critical moment for the defence and security of allies” and noted the importance of ongoing assistance to Ukraine.

He also praised the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people and their leadership as we approach the first year anniversary of the war.

This meeting also served to open discussions and issues that are expected to be addressed during the NATO Summit that will be held in Vilnius from 11-12 July this year.

During the meetings in Brussels, Peleshi expressed his condolences to his Turkish counterpart, for the lives lost by the devastating earthquake that affected Turkey and Syria last week.

Among other decisions taken was one to step up support to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova which the NATO press release referred to as “at risk”.

Albania, one of Europe and NATO’s poorest countries has donated €1 million directly to Ukraine as well as military equipment.

(Alice Taylor | Exit.al)