BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday the alliance was deploying parts of its combat-ready response force and would continue to send weapons to Ukraine, including air defences.
Stoltenberg also said that Russia was trying to topple the Ukrainian government. “We see rhetoric, the messages, which is strongly indicating that the aim is to remove the democratically-elected government in Kyiv,” he told a news conference following a virtual meeting of NATO leaders.
He said some of the 30 allies announced the type of weapons that they would supply Ukraine, including air defences, without giving details. “Allies are very committee to continue to provide support,” he said.
Stoltenberg said that NATO was deploying elements of its rapid response force, which is made up of land, air, maritime and special operations forces, on allied territory.
“We are now deploying the NATO response force for the first time in the context of collective defence,” he said.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Alistair Bell)