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NATO chief scraps €100 billion Ukraine fund plan – Bloomberg

The proposal fell flat with members of the US-led military bloc, the outlet has said

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has ditched a five-year plan to provide Ukraine with €100 billion ($108 billion) in military aid after pushback from members of the bloc, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

In April, several Western media outlets reported, citing diplomatic sources, that Stoltenberg had presented a draft long-term military support plan for Ukraine, designed in part to guard against any cut in US support if former President Donald Trump returns to the White House. Earlier this year, Trump called for restricting aid to Ukraine to loans and insisted that European NATO members match Washington’s level of assistance to Kiev.

The Stoltenberg plan was reportedly been questioned by several NATO members who sought clarification from the bloc’s secretary general on where and how the enormous sum of money involved would be obtained. The unnamed officials told Politico last month that the plan was “confusing” and that the €100 million figure would be revised.

Earlier this week, a NATO diplomat told the FT that Ukrainian authorities were “not super thrilled” with the idea either, pointing out that the package would in practice only duplicate bilateral and EU-managed commitments and not actually represent fresh cash.

Instead, Stoltenberg is expected to submit an updated plan to provide Kiev with lethal and non-lethal aid of around €40 billion annually, the sources told Bloomberg. The new proposal will reportedly be discussed by NATO defense ministers next week.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) talks with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto (L) on April 03, 2024 in Brussels, Belgium.
NATO state rejects €100 billion Ukraine war chest ‘madness’

Under the new plan, which is aimed at providing more transparency about what Ukraine’s supporters contribute, the amount of assistance from each NATO member would be determined on the basis of a percentage of their gross domestic product. The US would reportedly account for nearly half of the aid, with the other 31 members providing the rest.

The sources also told the news outlet that Türkiye has cautioned that any coordination of military assistance for Ukraine could create the perception of greater involvement of the bloc in the conflict.

Last month, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that Budapest was opposed to the initial plan, explaining that since the aid was to be collected over five years, this meant NATO “expects the hostilities to continue for this period.” The diplomat added that Hungary does not plan to participate in arming Ukraine or training its soldiers. The country’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, has expressed the view that NATO is getting closer to war with Russia every week.

June 08, 2024 at 03:53PM
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