NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said NATO has no plans to deploy troops to Ukraine, nor did Kyiv request the bloc to send boots on the ground.

“NATO has no intention of deploying forces in Ukraine. When I visited Ukraine last week the Ukrainians did not ask for NATO troops, what they asked for was more support,” said Stoltenberg during an official visit to Italy.

As reported by Italian news outlet ANSA, Stoltenberg also said the delay of Western arms delivery to Ukraine has allowed Russia to gain ground in recent months.

“The situation on the battlefield is very difficult, I visited Kyiv last week and they updated me on the challenges they face: Russia has gained ground and there is a risk that it will gain further ground,” he said.


He further explained that at present, a political solution to end the war in Ukraine could only be achieved by supporting Ukraine militarily due to the lack of “any real willingness on the Russian side to engage in serious peace talks.”

“I fear that now it is very difficult to have a meaningful dialogue with Russia. What we would like to see is for them to stop attacking another country. So far, however, we have not seen any real willingness on the Russian side to engage in serious peace talks, because President Putin believes he can win.

“The only way to convince him that he needs to sit down and negotiate is to demonstrate on the battlefield that he will not win, and the only way to get there is to provide military support to Ukraine,” said Stoltenberg.

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The overnight aerial attack came shortly after Russian troops bombed a busy shopping centre in Kharkiv on May 25, which killed at least 12 people and injured 43.

Stoltenberg also praised Italy for being a “faithful and important ally of NATO” and mentioned Italy’s “supply of a SAMP-T air defense system together with France” to Kyiv, though the details remain classified.

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