The head of NATO proposes a military aid fund of 100 billion euros for Ukraine

The head of NATO proposes a military aid fund of 100 billion euros for Ukraine
The head of NATO proposes a military aid fund of 100 billion euros for Ukraine
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NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has proposed a $100 billion military aid package over five years for Ukraine that would give the Western alliance a more direct role in supporting Kiev, five diplomats told Reuters on Tuesday.

Jens Stoltenberg at NATO headquartersPhoto: FEDERICO GAMBARINI / AFP / Profimedia

Under the plan, NATO would take over some coordination work from an ad hoc US-led coalition known as the Ramstein group – a step intended in part to protect against any reduction in US support if Donald Trump returns to White House, diplomats said.

The proposal is expected to be discussed at a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday and Thursday with the aim of finalizing a package of measures in time for the NATO summit in Washington in July.

Until now, NATO as an organization has limited itself to non-lethal aid to Ukraine, out of fear that a more direct role could trigger an escalation of tensions with Russia. Most of its members supply arms to Ukraine on a bilateral basis.

But diplomats said there was a growing view within NATO that the time had come to put military aid to Ukraine on a more sustainable, long-term basis, and that the Western alliance was best suited to take on much of the this role.

Some also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats that he would consider various measures taken by NATO allies to be provocative have not led to retaliatory actions against them.

As part of the plan, the organization would create a NATO mission for Ukraine, although it is not yet clear whether the mission will operate inside the country, diplomats said. Some countries were wary of even naming the operation a mission.

Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general, said the plan is in part “to protect against the winds of political change” in any NATO member, but Trump is uppermost in the minds of many, a senior NATO diplomat said.

NATO declined to comment in detail on Stoltenberg’s proposals, but a NATO official said the foreign ministers would “discuss how best to organize NATO’s support for Ukraine, to make it stronger, more predictable and more sustainable.”

“No final decisions will be made at ministerial meetings in April and discussions will continue as we approach the Washington summit in July,” the official said, declining to be named.

Diplomats warned that talks on the proposal were at an early stage and it was not clear whether the full 100 billion euros would be accepted or how it would be raised. All NATO decisions require consensus among the alliance’s 32 members.

“It goes some way to protecting in the event of Trump’s election. But it is impossible to create something resistant to Trump,” said another diplomat.

“A fund of 100 billion seems very optimistic, knowing how difficult it was to reach an agreement on a smaller amount at EU level,” the diplomat added.

The article is in Romanian

Tags: NATO proposes military aid fund billion euros Ukraine

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