© 2024 WHRO Public Media
5200 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk VA 23508
757.889.9400 | info@whro.org
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ambassadors from NATO countries outline the urgency of getting aid to Ukraine

Lithuania Ambassador Audra Plepyte, Polish Ambassador Marek Magierowski and Romanian Ambassador Andrei Muraru speaking at the Sheraton. April 19, 2024. Steve Walsh
Lithuania Ambassador Audra Plepyte, Polish Ambassador Marek Magierowski and Romanian Ambassador Andrei Muraru speaking at the Sheraton. April 19, 2024. Steve Walsh

Poland’s Ambassador to the U.S., Marek Magierowski, says there is a sense of cautious relief as the aid package to Ukraine passed a vote in the House.

“It's an argument that I have been using abundantly here in my conversations with Americans, that the Ukrainians are now fighting not only for their sovereignty and for their freedom, but for our own freedom, or the collective West,” he said. 

The latest round of U.S. aid to Ukraine has been stalled for months, as fighting against Russia worsened. 

“If, in the worst case scenario, Ukraine loses this war, it would dent NATO's credibility. More broadly, the West's credibility. It would not be the final nail in the coffin of Western civilization, but certainly a very negative development,” Magierowski said.

Getting arms and aid into Ukraine quickly will still be a challenge, says the Lithuanian ambassador to the U.S., Audra Plepyte. 

“Speed has not been our friend, unfortunately. There have been initiatives to speed things up, but it’s a challenge,” she said.   

The war has changed the NATO alliance, she said. 

“It was really eye opening for all the allies and how fast all nations reacted in assisting Ukraine. And also not only NATO, but the European Union and the whole the democratic world,” Plepyte said

The ambassadors spoke as part of an event put on by the World Affairs Council of Hampton Roads, which included the Romanian Ambassador to the U.S. and the NATO commander in Norfolk, Gen. Philippe Lavigne.

Steve joined WHRO in 2023 to cover military and veterans. Steve has extensive experience covering the military and working in public media, most recently at KPBS in San Diego, WYIN in Gary, Indiana and WBEZ in Chicago. In the early 2000s, he embedded with members of the Indiana National Guard in Kuwait and Iraq. Steve reports for NPR’s American Homefront Project, a national public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Steve is also on the board of Military Reporters & Editors.

The world changes fast.

Keep up with daily local news from WHRO. Get local news every weekday in your inbox.

Sign-up here.