As NATO summit begins, Russia intensifies attack on Ukraine

The strikes come following an overnight attack on Monday in which Ukraine’s air defence shot down drones launched by Russia.
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Representational Image Wikimedia Commons/ Anton Holoborodko

Kyiv, July 12: As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries met in Lithuania's capital Vilnius, Russia intensified its attack on Ukraine in the early hours of Wednesday. CNN reported that for the second night in a row, Moscow launched airstrikes toward the Kyiv region. 

Kyiv regional military administration, on Telegram, said, "The movement of enemy UAVs has been recorded! Air defence works in the region.” The strikes come following an overnight attack on Monday in which Ukraine’s air defence shot down drones launched by Russia. 

Earlier, Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned of retaliation if the United States continues with plans to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine. 

"In the event that the United States supplies cluster munitions to Ukraine, Russia will be forced to respond in a reciprocal manner," Shoigu said, according to Russian television network Channel 5, which carried his comments, reported CNN. 

This came after the US confirmed last week that it will send cluster munitions to Ukraine as part of a new military aid package, following months of debate within the Biden administration about whether to provide Kyiv with the controversial weapons banned by over 100 countries, including key US allies. 

Meanwhile, at the Nato Summit in Vilnius, the member countries reaffirmed their support for Ukraine’s push for membership of the alliance, according to a final declaration issued by the 31-member group at a summit in Lithuania, according to a joint communique issued by NATO leaders at a summit in Vilnius. 

NATO allies in the joint communique said, "We fully support Ukraine’s right to choose its own security arrangements. Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We reaffirm the commitment we made at the 2008 Summit in Bucharest that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, and today we recognise that Ukraine’s path to full Euro-Atlantic integration has moved beyond the need for the Membership Action Plan. 

"NATO allies noted that Ukraine has become "increasingly interoperable and politically integrated" with the alliance. The NATO allies said that they will continue to support and review Ukraine's progress through the adapted annual national programme. 

NATO allies also reiterated their condemnation of Russia's war and its "blatant violations of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, and OSCE commitments and principles.” 

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