Weapons aid: Stoltenberg suggests “NATO Mission Ukraine”.

Weapons aid: Stoltenberg suggests “NATO Mission Ukraine”.

NATO has not yet played a major role in arms deliveries to Ukraine. From the Secretary General’s point of view, this should change – also for political reasons.

According to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO should have a significantly larger role in supporting Ukraine. As several diplomats confirmed to the German Press Agency, the Norwegian suggested, among other things, the establishment of a special NATO mission for the country attacked by Russia.

He also wants to persuade the alliance partners to promise Ukraine military support worth 100 billion euros over the next five years. According to information, discussions on the proposals are currently underway in the defense alliance. Final decisions are to be made at the alliance summit in July in Washington.

Coordination of arms deliveries

The core task of the “NATO Mission Ukraine” would, if approved by the member states, be the coordination of arms deliveries and training activities for the Ukrainian armed forces. The USA is currently responsible for this coordination. They regularly organize meetings at their air force base in Ramstein in Rhineland-Palatinate or, for example, in Brussels.

Stoltenberg’s idea was to communalize support for Ukraine in order to make it less dependent on political developments in individual alliance states, it was said. This is particularly true given the possible return of Donald Trump to the White House as president. This raises the concern that the Republican could then significantly reduce or even stop US support for Ukraine. It was emphasized that it was not about deploying NATO troops in Ukraine.

Fairer sharing of burdens

Details of the proposal for the 100 billion euro package initially remained open. In particular, the question of whether support commitments already made by individual states should be included or not remained unanswered. Diplomats said Stoltenberg’s move was also about more equitable sharing of the burden of supporting Ukraine. It is currently the case that eastern allies and countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and the USA make significantly higher contributions in relation to their economic power than countries such as France, Italy and Spain.

Another idea from Stoltenberg is to create a NATO framework for bilateral security agreements with Ukraine. However, details on this point initially remained unclear.

No decisions at Foreign Minister meetings

A NATO spokesman did not want to comment on the content of the proposals on Tuesday evening. He simply said that the foreign ministers’ meeting this Wednesday and Thursday should discuss how NATO’s support for Ukraine can be made more effective, predictable and lasting. However, there will be no final decisions yet.

The talks are also considered difficult because of the federal government’s positioning. In the past, the Chancellery in particular has repeatedly expressed its opposition to proposals that would see NATO become more involved in supporting Ukraine. This was mainly justified by concerns about an escalation and expansion of the war in Ukraine into NATO territory. To date, for example, NATO itself has not supplied any lethal weapons to Ukraine.

Source: Stern

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