Ukraine needs military support but not NATO troops: ambassador

Brussels - Ukraine requires military assistance from Nato but does not expect it to send troops to fight pro-Russian separatists, the Ukrainian ambassador to the alliance said on Friday.

"What we need is more assistance, including military. It is clear that Nato cannot support Ukraine with troops and we do not expect member states to do so," said Ihor Dolhov, head of the Ukrainian delegation to Nato.

"We do not consider such an option for the time being. We can protect ourselves but we need assistance to stop aggression to call President (Vladimir) Putin to peace," Dolhov said following an emergency Nato meeting on the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Up to this point Nato member states have "unfortunately" not provided any weapons to Ukraine, he said.

Dolhov said he hoped for "practical results" from a NATO summit due to take place in Wales on 4 and 5 September.

"We do not need only consultative assistance but also something concrete like, for example, software for logistics."

Nato ambassadors held a crisis meeting on Friday after the alliance said Russia had at least 1 000 troops fighting to support a lightning rebel counter-offensive against Ukrainian government forces.

In a move certain to anger Kiev's former masters in Moscow, Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen Rasmussen said the military alliance was not closing the door to Ukraine's possible membership after the government said it wanted to join.