BUCHAREST (AP) — Ukraine’s foreign minister said Wednesday that NATO diplomats have given him a “number of new commitments” on arming his nation, but declined to say whether that included promises of badly wanted Patriot missile batteries.
Dmytro Kuleba spoke at a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Bucharest, Romania. Equipping Ukraine with arms and equipment to rebuild its battered electricity grid to survive winter under Russian bombardment has been a top issue.
At the gathering, “we heard a number of commitments, new commitments, from various NATO members with regard to providing Ukraine with more defensive weapons and energy equipment,” Kuleba told reporters.
Kuleba had declared Tuesday that Ukraine most needs Patriots and electrical transformers, to cope with what NATO says is a targeted Russian barrage of missile strikes aiming to cripple Ukraine’s energy transmission grid as it moves into winter.
Ukraine is seeking U.S.-made Patriot missile batteries or other air defense systems that are more advanced than those it has gotten so far from the United States and other allies to block Russian airstrikes. Kuleba did not respond to repeated questions from a reporter ahead of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken Wednesday about whether he had gotten any commitments on Patriots.
“What is very clear to me … is that support remains strong, resolute, determined” on the behalf of NATO foreign ministers to continue supporting Ukraine with weapons and other aid, Blinken said.