Washington DC [US], July 11 (ANI): The NATO leaders have pledged to provide Ukraine with at least USD 43 billion in military aid within the next year to bolster its defences against Russia, which the 32 nations grouping sees Russia a growing threat to Europe,. reported Al Jazeera.

Moreover, the NATO leaders also formally declared Kyiv on an "irreversible path" to membership in the Western military alliance.

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The decision has been included in a final communique following a NATO summit in Washington, DC, on Wednesday.

It came as the alliance's members also announced individual and joint steps to boost Ukraine's and Europe's security, as reported by Al Jazeera.

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The United States, Netherlands and Denmark announced that they would provide the first NATO-provided F-16 fighter jets to the Ukrainian military pilots by this summer.

The US further said it will be deploying longer-range missiles in Germany in 2026, noting that it will be a major step aimed at countering what the allies say is Russia's growing threat to Europe.

The move will also send Germany the most potent US weapons to be based on the European continent since the Cold War.

Moreover, it would have been banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the US and the Soviet Union in 1987, however, that collapsed in 2019.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took to X and appreciated NATO's effort to strengthen his air force, saying the new fighter jets "bring just and lasting peace closer, demonstrating that terror must fail".

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg underlined that Ukraine will not join the alliance's ranks immediately, however, insisted that must happen after the war is over to ensure that Russia never attacks Kyiv again, reported Al Jazeera.

Highlighting the overall NATO assistance, Stoltenberg said, "We are not doing this because we want to prolong a war. We are doing it because we want to end a war as soon as possible."

However, the US and a few other countries have opposed membership for Ukraine during the conflict with Russia to avoid an escalation of tensions that could lead to a larger war.

They have further stressed that Ukraine must take significant steps to address corruption as well as other systemic reforms, as reported by Al Jazeera.

Moreover, the NATO communique also strengthened past language on China, calling it a "decisive enabler" of Russia's war effort in Ukraine and emphasised that Beijing continues to pose systemic challenges to Euro-Atlantic security. (ANI)

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