NATO sees Russia’s war faltering, mulls expanding alliance

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A senior NATO official says Russia’s military advance in Ukraine appears to be faltering and he expressed hope that Kyiv can win the war.

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Top NATO diplomats are meeting Sunday in Berlin to discuss providing further support to Ukraine and moves by Finland, Sweden and others to join the western alliance in the face of threats from Russia.

“The brutal invasion (by) Russia is losing momentum,” NATO Deputy-Secretary General Mircea Geoana told reporters. “We know that with the bravery of the Ukrainian people and army, and with our help, Ukraine can win this war.”

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Geoana, who was chairing the meeting while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recovers from a COVID-19 infection, said Ukraine’s supporters were “united, we are strong, will continue to help Ukraine in winning this war.”

One key issue being discussed in Berlin is expansion of NATO beyond its current 30 member states.

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Finland and Sweden have already taken steps toward joining the alliance, while Georgia’s bid is again being discussed despite dire warnings from Moscow about the consequences if its neighbor becomes part of NATO.

“Finland and Sweden are already the closest partners of NATO,” Geoana said, adding that he expected allies to view their applications positively.

Georgian officials will also be invited to an upcoming NATO summit in Madrid, he said, adding that the alliance’s open-door policy “remains sacrosanct.”

The meeting follows a gathering of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven leading economies on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast this week. Officials there expressed strong support for Ukraine and warned that Russia’s blockade of grain exports from Ukrainian ports risks stoking a global food crisis.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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