UPDATED: NATO will not back down but continue supporting Ukraine – Stoltenberg

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BRUSSELS, Nov 25 (Reuters) – NATO will not let down in its support of Ukraine and also ramp up non-lethal aid for the country, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.

“NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will not back down,” he told reporters in Brussels ahead of a foreign ministers’ meeting of the alliance in Bucharest next week.

The decision whether to send Patriot air defence units to Ukraine lies with the specific nations, NATO’s chief said on Friday when asked about Polish demands for Germany to pass on Patriot units to Kyiv.

The decisions over specific systems are national decisions, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters, adding that end user agreements and other arrangements sometimes meant that consultations with other allies were required.

Patriot is produced by the U.S. company Raytheon.

In Other Developments

CONFLICT

* Russia’s justice ministry added Facebook-owner Meta Platforms META.O to its register of extremist organisations on Friday, the Kommersant newspaper reported.A Russian court earlier this year ruled Meta had engaged in “extremist activity”. Moscow has restricted access to Facebook and Instagram as part of a campaign against Western social media platforms.

* Germany said on Friday it was discussing with its allies Poland’s demand to send German Patriot air defence units to Ukraine.”We are talking with our allies about how to handle Poland’s … suggestion,” a German government spokesperson told reporters in Berlin.

* Russia’s latest barrage killed 11 people and shut down all of Ukraine’s nuclear plants for the first time in 40 years.

* Viewed from space, Ukraine has become a dark patch on the globe at night, NASA satellite images showed.

* The war’s first winter will now test whether Ukraine can press on with its campaign to recapture territory, or whether Russia’s commanders can halt Kyiv’s momentum.

* More than 15,000 people have gone missing during the war in Ukraine, an official at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) said.

* A disabled mother in recently liberated Kherson is searching for her son, taken by Russian soldiers three months ago and never seen again.

“Where is he now? I don’t know. I would go to the end of the world to find out. He’s my only son. He was always nearby. Now…” said one legged Anna Voskoboinik in her wheel-chair, tearing up.

* Putin will on Friday meet the mothers of soldiers fighting in Ukraine, the Kremlin said, as the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of soldiers grinds into its 10th month.

ECONOMY/AID

* British foreign minister James Cleverly will pledge millions of pounds in further support for Kyiv during a visit to Ukraine to ensure the country has the practical help it needs through the winter, his office said.

* Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko has said more Western support is needed to help it meet its growing reconstruction costs following this week’s escalation of Russian missile attacks.

* Ukraine’s grain exports have gotten off to a slower start after a U.N.-brokered deal was extended last week to help ease global hunger, and one Ukrainian envoy put part of the blame on Russia’s reluctance to speed up ship inspections.

OIL

* Russia does not plan to supply oil and gas to countries supporting a price cap on Russian oil, the Kremlin said, but will make a final decision once it analyses all the figures.

QUOTE:

“There is no split, there is no schism among Europeans and we have to preserve this. This is our mission number one this year,” Zelenskiy said.

Photo: NATO

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