Following the collapse of a significant dam, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged alliance nations on Thursday to expedite humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, informed NATO ambassadors via video link on the destruction brought on by the Kakhovka dam’s collapse, which Kyiv attributes to Russia.
Stoltenberg told the meeting that “the consequences for thousands of people and for the environment are dramatic, and he urged Allies to provide support expeditiously”, NATO said in a statement.
“Allies expressed strong solidarity with Ukraine, and many are already providing critical aid, including water filters, pumps, generators, and shelter equipment,” it said.
600 square kilometres have been flooded as a result of the dam’s disintegration, forcing thousands of people to leave.
Since Russia began its full-scale invasion in February, NATO nations, led by the United States, have already given Ukraine weapons worth tens of billions of dollars.
Next Thursday, supporters of Ukraine will meet at the NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss additional arms shipments to Kiev.
A separate two-day conference of NATO defence ministers is scheduled to cover support for Kyiv and the contentious subject of its application to join the alliance.
The “importance of immediate, medium, and long-term support to Ukraine” will be a “key topic” of the meetings the following week, according to Stoltenberg.
Ahead of the summit of the alliance’s leaders in Vilnius next month, NATO countries are arguing on how to handle Ukraine’s application for membership.
Kyiv wants it to be made clear that it will join when Russia’s war is over, along with NATO members in eastern Europe.
However, the US and Germany are hesitant to go beyond a nebulous promise given 15 years ago that Ukraine will eventually join.
Diplomats are debating whether Ukraine may receive security guarantees other than NATO membership, such as priority access to arms shipments, to deter Russian aggression after the conflict is over.