NATO chief: Expect deal on helping Ukraine reach alliance standards

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg visits Ramstein U.S. Air Base

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday he expects allies to agree on a multi-year programme to help Ukraine advance towards NATO military standards at a July summit in Vilnius.

"I expect that we will agree a multi-year program, where we will work on how to help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era standards, doctrines and equipment to NATO standards and doctrines and equipment, and become fully interoperable with NATO," Stoltenberg told the Copenhagen Democracy Summit via video link.

"Doing that will also help Ukraine move towards NATO membership," he said. Ukraine is striving for eventual NATO membership as it acquires advanced Western weaponry from supporters in the alliance to fight off a Russian invasion.

Stoltenberg also said he plans to leave his post as NATO secretary general when his tenure end in October.

"I (have) made it clear that I have no other plans than to leave this fall. I will be in almost twice as long as originally planned. And that's all I have to say about that. I am totally focused on that task until my tenure ends in October."

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Sabine Siebold; editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark Heinrich)