BRUSSELS, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – NATO will not fulfill Ukraine’s request for intelligence and equipment assistance, and such issues should be discussed with member states on a bilateral basis, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday.
“Let me remind you that NATO does not possess equipment, NATO does not have an intelligence service as an organization. We are dependent on individual allies,” Rasmussen said.
“So the question about equipment, intelligence cooperation, et cetera – that’s the issue that should be addressed at the bilateral level between Ukraine and individual allies,” he said at the GLOBSEC security conference in Bratislava, Slovakia.
He pledged NATO assistance “when it comes to defense reform, modernization of the Ukrainian armed forces, more interoperability including Ukrainian participation in NATO exercises.”
“I foresee that we will do more in the future. But let me also remind you that, of course, there is a difference between being a member of NATO and not being a member of NATO. Collective defense, according to Article 5, applies to members only,” he added.
Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia said in March that Kiev had submitted a request for aid from NATO, which is now under consideration.
He said Ukraine requested NATO members provide technical equipment for defense purposes, but reiterated that Kiev did not ask for weapons. The UNIAN news agency quoted him as saying that Ukraine had asked NATO members for “radar and border equipment.”