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NATO-Ukraine Council meets Wednesday - Zelenskiy

Reuters WORLD
Published July 23,2023

A previously-announced meeting of a new NATO-Ukraine Council, expected to address Black Sea security, has been scheduled for Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Sunday.

NATO spokesperson Oanu Lungescu said on Saturday that the meeting, requested by Zelenskiy in a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, would discuss the situation following Russia's withdrawal from a year-old deal overseeing grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

"In fact, the date was agreed upon immediately after our conversation yesterday," Zelenskiy said. "The meeting will be held this Wednesday."

He said the meeting was among events Ukraine was preparing for in the coming week that would strengthen the country's defense. He said new support packages were being prepared including more air defense, artillery, and long-range weapons.

Lungescu said the meeting would address the operation of a corridor for grain exports and take place at the level of ambassadors. The council's inaugural meeting, at NATO's summit in Vilnius, was attended by heads of state or government.