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Ukraine: NATO ministers debate €100 billion military fund

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has reportedly floated a €100 billion package over five years, which foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are set to discuss.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has proposed military support for Ukraine worth €100 billion ($108 billion) over the next five years, according to multiple diplomats.

The aim is to have an aid package finalized in time for a NATO summit which will be held in Washington in July.

NATO members and aid for Ukraine

The proposal is expected to be debated during a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels over Wednesday and Thursday.

Stoltenberg will be chairing the talks at NATO headquarters.

The push for more aid comes amid mounting concern that support for Ukraine’s defensive efforts against Russia’s invasion is stalling and  warnings from Kyiv that ammunition stockpiles are running low.

A $60-billion US funding package has been blocked by Republicans in Congress but there are hopes lawmakers could move to pass it in the coming weeks. 

What Donald Trump might mean for support for Ukraine

German news agency DPA cited NATO diplomats as saying they aim to make support for Ukraine less dependent on political developments in individual member states and to shift the burden of responsibility among the alliance.

This was also linked to concerns surrounding the possible reelection of former US President Donald Trump.

In February, he threatened to encourage Moscow to attack NATO members who were not meeting their financial obligations.

Also on the agenda for NATO foreign ministers in Brussels

The Reuters news agency reported diplomats as saying that NATO was looking to take over some of the coordination work from the US-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG), also known as the Ramstein group.

To date, the US has taken on the primary responsibility of coordinating arms deliveries to Ukraine, through the UDCG.

Ministers are also expected to discuss the race to replace Stoltenberg. Some had hoped to choose his successor at the talks, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reportedly having the backing of 90% of members.

However, there is opposition from Hungary and also a surprise challenge from Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

75 years of NATO

On Thursday there will be a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of NATO’s founding.

The defense alliance was established in 1949 in the aftermath of World War II with just 12 members and today now has 32.

Source: Dw

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