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Western advisers are stationed at embassies, the US-led alliance’s chief has aid

NATO member states have service members stationed at their respective embassies in Kiev, performing advisory functions, NATO Secretary General Jens Soltenberg told MSNBC News on Sunday.

In an interview, Stoltenberg was asked whether NATO was planning to send additional personnel to help Kiev in its fight against Russia. “There are no plans for any NATO combat presence in Ukraine. But, of course, several NATO allies have men and women in uniform at the embassies giving advice,” Stoltenberg said.

His comment came after Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder told Politico magazine that the US is considering deploying more advisers to its embassy in Kiev. According to Politico, the additional advisers could be tasked with handling logistics and helping with the maintenance of US-supplied weapons systems.

Although French President Emmanuel Macron and several other European leaders are refusing to rule out some NATO boots on the ground in Ukraine in the future, the alliance has so far maintained that it is not a direct participant in the conflict.

The nearly $61 billion aid package passed by the US House of Representatives on Saturday was good news, however, “delay has had real consequences” on the battlefield, Stoltenberg said. “The Ukrainians have now for months been outgunned.”

The much-needed aid bill, which includes the money for the purchase of weapons for Ukraine, had remained stuck in the House for months due to political wrangling. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has complained that the petering out of American aid caused ammunition shortages on the front line, and warned that Kiev could lose if the delays continue. President Joe Biden directly blamed the fall of the Donbass stronghold of Avdeevka to Russia in February on “congressional inaction.”

Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of Western arms and equipment to Ukraine will not stop it from reaching its military goals, including the abandonment of Kiev’s hopes to join NATO. Further arms deliveries from the West only “cause more Ukrainians to die because of the Kiev regime,” and de facto make Western states party to the conflict, the Kremlin has stated.

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