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Russian Invasion: NATO leaders to discuss Ukraine support at summit

On Wednesday, NATO leaders are meeting in Washington to discuss the alliance’s support for Ukraine in the war against Russia.

• July 10, 2024
NATO LEADERS
NATO LEADERS(Photo credit: CNN)

On Wednesday, NATO leaders are meeting in Washington to discuss the alliance’s support for Ukraine in the war against Russia.

The talks followed a ceremony held on Tuesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the military alliance in the aftermath of World War II and the onset of the Cold War.

The leaders are expected to discuss outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s plan to provide Kyiv with military aid worth 40 billion euros ($43 billion) in 2025.

NATO members have strongly supported Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

According to Stoltenberg, NATO needed to convince Russia that it could not win its war against Ukraine by waiting for Western support to wither.

However, the 40 billion euros pledged has been watered down from the multi-year financial commitment for Ukraine that Stoltenberg initially wanted.

The alliance would review the military aid again next year, potentially weakening the package further.

The summit is Stoltenberg’s last as secretary general.

Former Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is set to take over in October.

U.S. President Joe Biden opened the summit on Tuesday by announcing that NATO allies would supply additional air defence systems to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is also attending, hopes that meeting national leaders from the 32 NATO countries will clarify Ukraine’s prospects for membership in the Western defence alliance.

Ukrainian leadership also hoped to see a commitment to stronger military support as its forces seek to take back large parts of the country in the east and south which Russia illegally annexed.

Since 2019, Ukraine has had its NATO membership ambitions enshrined in its national constitution.

However, all current NATO countries must agree unanimously before that can happen.

The U.S. and Germany were the main opponents of Ukraine joining NATO too soon, diplomatic sources within the alliance said.

A source referred to the U.S. and Germany’s strong opposition towards inviting Ukraine to join the alliance without fulfilling the necessary preconditions.

In an interview with dpa ahead of the summit, Mr Stoltenberg said he hoped Ukraine could join NATO within the next 10 years.

Another part of the secretary general’s plan to make long-term NATO commitments to Ukraine is a new support project called NATO Security Assistance and Training for Ukraine (NSATU), approved by NATO defence ministers in June.

Based in the German city of Wiesbaden, the project was to be staffed by 700 officials.

Previously, NATO countries have been coordinating support to Ukraine through an informal, U.S.-led group called the Ukraine Defence Contact Group. 

(dpa/NAN)

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