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Ukraine war: New NATO headquarters in Germany

Ukraine war: New NATO headquarters in Germany
Ukraine war: New NATO headquarters in Germany

NATO wants to take over the international coordination of arms deliveries and training activities for the Ukrainian armed forces. Germany is to play a key role in this.

The headquarters for the planned NATO mission to coordinate arms deliveries and training activities for the Ukrainian armed forces will be located in Germany. As the German Press Agency learned from alliance circles, Wiesbaden is planned as the location. This is also the base of the US armed forces in Europe, which have so far carried out the coordination tasks. The mission will be led by a three-star general who will report directly to the supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe.

The operational plan for the new NATO mission was approved yesterday by the North Atlantic Council in a written procedure. It was then confirmed today by the defense ministers.

The support tasks have so far been carried out primarily by the United States. At the end of 2022, the United States set up a unit of around 300 soldiers called the Security Assistance Group-Ukraine (SAG-U) at the European headquarters of the US armed forces in Wiesbaden, Hesse.

The NATO project is also seen as a precaution in the event of a possible return of Donald Trump to the US presidency in January 2025. Statements by the Republican in the past had raised doubts as to whether the USA would continue to support Ukraine under his leadership in the defensive war against Russia as it has done so far. The alliance fears that a political change of course in Washington could also affect the coordination of arms deliveries and training activities for the Ukrainian armed forces.

Hungary will not be participating in the new NATO project. The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban fears that the project could push the alliance into direct confrontation with Russia. This is why many other NATO states were very cautious two years ago. They prevented greater NATO support. Over time, however, the assessment has changed and most NATO states consider the risk to be calculable.

To ensure that Hungary does not prevent the necessary consensus for the project, the country was assured that it would not have to contribute any financial or personnel costs.

No German soldiers in Ukraine

The new project is currently referred to within the alliance as “NATO Security Assistance and Training for Ukraine” (NSATU). Most NATO states had previously actually spoken in favor of the name “NATO Mission Ukraine”. However, the German government took the view that this could be mistakenly understood to mean that the alliance wanted to send soldiers to Ukraine. It therefore feared that the name could be used by Russia for propaganda against the alliance.

Further preparations for the project can now be made on the basis of the agreed operational plan. Ideally, it will be officially launched in July, when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the other 31 heads of state and government of the NATO countries come together for a summit in Washington.

Source: Stern

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