G7, NATO Vow to Continue Arming Ukraine After Russian Missile Barrage

Zelensky asked the G7 to provide Ukraine with an 'air shield'

Both the Group of Seven (G7) and NATO vowed on Tuesday to continue supporting Ukraine in the wake of a Russian missile barrage across Ukraine that marked an escalation in the war.

Russian missile and drone strikes continued across Ukraine on Tuesday, but they were not as intense as Monday’s strikes. According to Ukrainian officials, the Russian strikes have killed 19 people.

The leaders of the G7 nations convened a virtual meeting and issued a statement that said they would support Ukraine for the long term. “We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the G7 leaders said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attended the G7 meeting and asked for the nations to provide an “air shield” by supplying more military aid. “I am asking you to strengthen the overall effort to help financially with the creation of an air shield for Ukraine. Millions of people will be grateful to the Group of Seven for such assistance,” Zelensky said.

On Monday, President Biden told Zelensky in a call that the US would provide Ukraine with advanced air defense systems. The following day, the White House said the US would expedite the delivery of National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS).

Over in Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance will agree to send more weapons to Ukraine at a meeting of NATO ministers that will start on Wednesday. “We will step up and sustain our support for Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said while giving a preview of the upcoming meeting.

NATO countries have been working to step up weapons production as their stockpiles have been depleted by sending arms to Ukraine. “So we can produce more, both to replenish stocks, but also to continue to support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

The NATO leader said that Ukraine must win the war because a Russian victory would be a defeat for the Western military alliance. “It is important for all of us, that Ukraine wins the battle, the war against the invading Russian forces. Because if Putin wins, that is not only a big defeat for Ukrainians, but it will be a defeat and dangerous for all of us,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.