War in Ukraine | NATO wants to commit to Ukraine in the long term

(Brussels) NATO wants to commit sustainably alongside Ukraine, in difficulty facing Russian forces, by ensuring “predictable” and “long-term” military aid, its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured Wednesday.

“We must ensure reliable, predictable and long-term military assistance for Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said shortly before a meeting of Alliance foreign ministers in Brussels.

The latter are expected to discuss a proposal to create a fund of 100 billion euros over five years to help Kyiv.

“Moscow must understand that they (the Russians) cannot achieve their objectives on the battlefield and wait for us (NATO) to get tired” and give up helping Ukraine, explained Mr. Stoltenberg.

Asked about this proposal for a 100 billion euro fund, the NATO Secretary General refused to give details, explaining that discussions would begin this week with a view to finding a “consensus” among the 32 NATO countries before their summit in July in Washington.

This proposal, however, meets with skepticism among certain allied countries, who question the financing of such a fund. NATO has neither budget nor means to encourage fundraising, a NATO diplomat pointed out on Wednesday.

“I don’t think it makes much sense to discuss individual contributions here again and juggle” with figures, declared the head of German diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, upon her arrival at NATO headquarters.

In a joint statement released Wednesday, Mr.me Baerbock and the foreign ministers of France, Stéphane Séjourné, and Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, also warned of the need for Allies to stand by Ukraine.

“We must not rest on our laurels, we must accept the fact that this moment can define the future in which our children will live,” affirm these ministers, who in this declaration call on all NATO countries to devote minus 2% of their GDP for military spending.

This objective was set in 2014 by NATO, but only around twenty countries have reached this threshold.

Moscow on the offensive

Ukraine is demanding more military aid from its allies in the face of Russia, now on the offensive on the ground and whose forces are shelling the country’s energy infrastructure.

The NATO Secretary General, who will leave his post in October after ten years at the head of the Alliance, expressed concern about the situation on the battlefield.

Russian forces are prepared to suffer considerable losses for minimal territorial gains, with “very little respect for human life,” he stressed. “This is why the situation on the front is so difficult,” he insisted.

The Ukrainian forces must ration the artillery shells they fire against the Russian forces, for lack of receiving enough, Mr. Stoltenberg further explained. According to some experts, the ratio is one shell fired from the Ukrainian side to five from the Russian side.

He also deplored the blocking of US aid of more than $60 billion in Congress due to the veto of Republican elected officials favorable to former US President Donald Trump.

“Any delay has consequences on the battlefield,” he insisted, deeming it essential to transform short-term announcements into “long-term commitments, over several years”.

Greater NATO engagement alongside Ukraine, however, faces opposition from Hungary, a member of the Atlantic Alliance that has remained closest to Moscow since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24. 2022.

The head of Hungarian diplomacy Peter Szijjarto reaffirmed this opposition on Wednesday: “Hungary will not support any NATO proposal that could bring the Alliance closer to war or move it from a defensive coalition to an offensive coalition,” he said. he said on X.

According to a NATO diplomat, Mr. Stoltenberg tried in vain on Tuesday to contact Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to try to convince him.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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