Ukrainian president, NATO chief meet on cooperation, rapprochement

Kiev, Sep 29 (UNI) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday met with Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg to discuss cooperation and rapprochement between Ukraine and the alliance.

The two parties exchanged their views on critical defense issues, including the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine and the needs of Ukrainian soldiers, the presidential press service reported.

Protecting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure from possible attacks and the prospects of supplying additional air defense systems to Ukraine by NATO member states was another topic of the negotiations.

Speaking to reporters, Zelensky described the talks as “meaningful conversation between de facto allies.”

“It is only a matter of time before Ukraine becomes a de jure member of the alliance. We are doing everything to make it happen sooner,” Zelensky said.

For his part, Stoltenberg pledged that NATO’s support for Ukraine would continue.

“NATO will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” he said.

Currently, Ukraine and NATO are working on an adapted Annual National Program, which will determine practical steps to ensure Ukraine’s compliance with the principles and standards of the alliance, Zelensky added.

According to media reports, Stoltenberg arrived in Kiev earlier in the day for an unannounced visit.

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