WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s capture of a town on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s territory shows that Ukrainians are making progress and are able to push back Russian forces, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday.

“We saw that they were able to take a new city, Liman, and it shows that the Ukrainians are making progress, because of their bravery, because of their skill, they are able to push back the Russian army. Also because of the advanced weapons that the United States and other allies are providing, Stoltenberg said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Stoltenberg said the best way to resist Russia’s announced annexation of parts of Ukraine is to continue supporting the government in Kiev.

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Asked about Ukraine’s application for accelerated membership in the Western defense alliance, Stoltenberg said, “Any decision on membership would have to be made by consensus of all 30 allies.”

NATO supports an investigation into the apparent sabotage of Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline, which runs from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, NATO chiefs said.

“Any deliberate attack on NATO’s critical infrastructure will be met with a strong and coordinated response from one angle,” Stoltenberg said.

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Report by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Grant McCool and Lisa Schumacher

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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