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Top NATO and European Union officials met with foreign ministers from leading industrialized nations at a gathering on the Italian resort island of Capri. They urged for quick and concrete steps to provide more air defense systems and artillery to Ukraine to prevent Moscow from gaining an advantage in the ongoing conflict. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell highlighted the urgent need for Patriot air defense missile systems to protect against Russian strikes, emphasizing that without these systems, crucial infrastructure such as the electricity system in Ukraine could be destroyed, hindering the country’s ability to fight back.

Stoltenberg welcomed recent financial pledges from countries like the US, the Netherlands, and Denmark, as well as Germany’s delivery of a new Patriot missile battery, but stressed the importance of long-term and sustainable aid to help Ukraine better coordinate its response over the long term. The urgent need for additional air defense systems and artillery was emphasized to prevent Russia from overpowering Ukraine in the conflict. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani called for new sanctions against Iran for its recent attack and concrete support for Ukraine, warning that if Ukraine loses, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not come to the peace table.

The meeting in Capri also focused on the escalating tensions in the Middle East following Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend, with EU leaders vowing to ramp up sanctions on Iran. The US and UK announced new sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in Iran’s drone and missile industries. In light of the escalating situation, Borrell warned of the possibility of a regional war in the Middle East that could have far-reaching consequences. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stressed the need to isolate Iran in response to the attack but cautioned against further escalation in the region.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba emphasized his country’s need for essential military support, including artillery, ammunition, and air defense systems, as Russia advances along the front line. He thanked Germany for providing a new Patriot battery and called on the US Congress to approve the funding package for Ukraine. President Joe Biden expressed support for the aid proposal, signaling bipartisan support for the funding bill. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged other allies to join in providing support to Ukraine to effectively defend itself against Russian aggression. The importance of preventing Putin from proceeding with impunity was highlighted as a key priority.

Borrell emphasized that Europe cannot rely solely on the US to help Ukraine defend itself and called for concrete decisions to be made to send more air defense systems to Ukraine. He stressed the need to act quickly under the current circumstances. The pressing need for Patriot air defense systems to protect against Russian strikes was reiterated to prevent further escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. The meeting in Capri highlighted the critical nature of the situation in Ukraine and the Middle East, calling for coordinated international efforts to address the ongoing crises and prevent further escalation of violence and conflict.

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