NATO Urged to Ensure Long-Term Arms Supply to Ukraine

Wed Apr 03 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

BRUSSELS: NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday debated a proposal to create a 100-billion-euro, five-year fund for Ukraine, as the bloc’s chief urged them to guarantee long-term arms supplies for Kyiv’s embattled forces.

Addressing the urgency of the situation, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized the immediate needs of Ukraine, stressing that any delay in providing support could have significant consequences on the battlefield. Stoltenberg urged NATO members to shift towards more reliable and predictable security assistance for Ukraine, emphasizing the importance of long-term commitments over short-term offers.

The proposed 100-billion-euro fund received support from staunch allies of Ukraine, including Poland and the Baltic states. However, concerns were raised regarding the feasibility of the proposal and the source of financing, with discussions expected to continue leading up to a summit in Washington in July.

Belgium’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib highlighted the need to assess the feasibility of the proposal, cautioning against making promises that cannot be fulfilled. Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock emphasized the importance of establishing long-term structures to support Ukraine while urging clarity on funding details.

Stoltenberg’s plan also includes a NATO mission taking greater control of coordinating arms supplies to Ukraine, aiming to ensure the uninterrupted flow of weaponry despite potential changes in US leadership. This proposed shift marks a significant departure from NATO’s previous stance of refraining from directly supplying weapons to Ukraine to avoid escalating tensions with Russia.

However, Hungary expressed reservations, stating it would not support any proposal that could potentially escalate conflict with Russia.

The meeting in Brussels coincides with the 75th anniversary of NATO’s founding, with Stoltenberg reaffirming the alliance’s commitment to addressing contemporary security challenges. Discussions also included the selection of Stoltenberg’s successor, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte emerging as the frontrunner despite a challenge from Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.


icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp