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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

NATO Foreign Ministers Focus on Rebuilding Ukraine's Power Infrastructure

By VOA News November 29, 2022

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday he expects the message from a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Romania to be that all allies need to do more when it comes to helping Ukraine repair its damaged infrastructure and to provide Ukraine with more defenses from Russian air attacks.

Speaking ahead of the start of two days of talks in Bucharest, Stoltenberg told reporters that Ukraine faces a "huge task" to rebuild what Russian missile strikes have destroyed.

"We have delivered generators and spare parts, and the allies are helping to rebuild destroyed infrastructure," Stoltenberg said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is due to address his NATO counterparts later Tuesday, and Stoltenberg said he expects Kuleba to raise the need for Ukraine's allies to do even more to help that rebuilding effort.

The NATO chief said Russian President Vladimir Putin is responding to his country's failures in its invasion of Ukraine by trying to deprive Ukrainians of water, power and heat.

"We need to support Ukraine because what we see is that President Putin is trying to use winter as a weapon of war, which is inflicting a lot of suffering on the Ukrainian people," Stoltenberg said.

Kuleba on Monday welcomed his Nordic and Baltic counterparts from Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden in Kyiv.

"The strongest message from this visit is: Ukraine needs to win this war and therefore ... Western support should be stronger; more heavy weaponry without any political caveats, also including long-distance missiles," Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu told Reuters.

Reinsalu pledged to provide electric generators, warm clothes and food to help Ukrainians cope with the winter.

The seven Baltic and Nordic nations were the largest delegation to visit Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russian troops are preparing new strikes and met with senior government officials to discuss what actions to take.

Ukraine said Monday it had been forced to impose regular emergency blackouts in areas across the country after a setback in its race to repair energy infrastructure hit by Russian missile strikes.

In his nightly video address Monday, Zelenskyy said Russia shelled Kherson and other communities in the region. In one week, Zelenskyy said, Russia "fired 258 times on 30 settlements of our Kherson region."

He also said that Russian forces damaged the pumping station that supplied water to Mykolaiv.

Zelenskyy said the only thing Russian forces are capable of is inflicting devastation on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

"That is all they leave behind," he said. Russians "take revenge for the fact that Ukrainians defended themselves from them."

Some material for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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