NATO proposes new 100 billion euro aid plan for Ukraine

The Atlantic Alliance is rushing to approve a support package worth 100 billion euros from European funds in the face of a possible Trump return to the White House
El secretario general de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (OTAN), Jens Stoltenberg (centro), acompañado por el presidente del Comité Militar de la OTAN, el almirante Rob Bauer (frente a la izquierda), y el secretario general adjunto de la OTAN, Mircea Geoana (frente a la derecha), asisten al 75º aniversario de la alianza en la OTAN - PHOTO/KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (centre), accompanied by NATO Military Committee Chairman Admiral Rob Bauer (front left) and NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana (front right), attend the 75th anniversary of the alliance at NATO - PHOTO by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
  1. Ukraine demands more aid
  2. Hungary criticises the proposal

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the foreign and defence ministers of the member states have proposed a new aid package for Ukraine. The feared possible arrival of Donald Trump to the US presidency has been one of the main reasons why the European bureaucracy is shortening the deadlines for the approval of the new aid package.  

Convoy militar de la OTAN - <a  data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Depositphotos</a>
NATO military convoy - Depositphotos

Among the proposals mentioned during the meeting were short- and long-term military support and the standardisation and formalisation of aid to avoid dependence on donations from member states, especially the United States. 

These proposals and plans will allow NATO to play a direct role in coordinating the supply of arms, ammunition and equipment in the war against Russia. 

Mandel NGAN / AFP - El presidente estadounidense, Joe Biden, le da la mano al presidente ucraniano, Volodymyr Zelensky, en la Oficina Oval de la Casa Blanca
US President Joe Biden shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Oval Office of the White House - Mandel NGAN / AFP

"We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine over the long term, so that we rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments. Less on short-term offers and more on multi-year commitments," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. 

REUTERS/ALINA YARSH - El secretario general de la OTAN, Jens Stoltenberg, y el presidente de Ucrania, Volodimir Zelensky, en Kiev
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev - REUTERS/ALINA YARSH

According to Stoltenberg, Ukraine has urgent needs, so "delays - in the delivery of military equipment - have real consequences on the battlefield". He noted that the dynamics of support must change. Russia is willing to pay a very high price for materials and soldiers' lives in exchange for small gains on the ground. "That's why the situation on the frontline is so hard, so difficult," he said. 

Pasillo de las banderas de la sede de la OTAN en Bruselas - <a  data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Depositphotos</a>
Flag aisle at NATO Headquarters in Brussels - Depositphotos

NATO chief Stoltenberg, meanwhile, declined to confirm funding levels, saying the goal is to make the final decision at the July summit in Washington. Diplomats explained that under both proposals, part of NATO's coordination work would be taken over by a special US-led coalition known as the Rammstein Group. 

This measure, in the form of a decree, will be passed to prevent it from being paralysed or overturned in the event that former US President Donald Trump becomes White House president. It is in part a measure designed to protect against any reduction in US spending on support for Ukraine. 

Ukraine demands more aid

At a meeting in Brussels with the Ukraine's Foreign minister, Josep Borrell, not only reused existing resources, but also called for a new funding obligation from the UK. Borrell demonstrated that the EU and its member states were too many to provide military support to Ukraine. The head of European diplomacy noted that "these barbaric attacks reinforce the EU's (European Union) desire for increased support". 

AFP/ FREDERICK FLORIN  - El Alto Representante de la Unión Europea para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad, Josep Borrell, habla durante un debate sobre los ataques de Hamás contra Israel y la situación humanitaria en Gaza, en el marco de una sesión plenaria en el Parlamento Europeo en Estrasburgo, este de Francia, el 18 de octubre de 2023
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell during a plenary session debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, 18 October 2023 - AFP/ FREDERICK FLORIN 

Meanwhile, Finnish President Alexander Stubb signed a 10-year security agreement with Ukraine in Kiev after Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said Russia plans to mobilise 300,000 new troops for a summer offensive. 

The agreement signed by Stubb and Zelensky makes Finland the eighth NATO member this year to commit to long-term security cooperation with Kiev.  

El presidente de Ucrania, Volodymyr Zelensky, estrechando la mano del alto representante de la UE para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad, Josep Borrell antes de sus conversaciones en Kiev el 7 de febrero de 2024 - AFP/ SERVICIO DE PRENSA PRESIDENCIAL DE UCRANIA 
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hands with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell before their talks in Kiev on 7 February 2024 - AFP/ SERVICIO DE PRENSA PRESIDENCIAL DE UCRANIA 

Hungary criticises the proposal

While welcomed by some NATO Foreign Ministers, Stoltenberg's proposal generated mixed views among member states. First, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, through government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs, said on his official X account that Hungary "does not support any NATO proposal that would push the Alliance into war". 

In response to Hungary's refusal, Stoltenberg said he had spoken with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to address concerns about NATO's role in Ukraine and that he was confident those issues would be resolved in the coming weeks. 

According to Belgian foreign minister Hadja Lahbib, Stoltenberg's proposal includes the creation of a fund worth 100 billion euros over a five-year period to "develop a stronger and more stable institutional framework to support Ukraine". 

Viktor Orban, presidente de Hungría -PHOTO/FILE
Viktor Orban, President of Hungary - PHOTO/FILE

Currently, coordination of international military assistance is centralised by the US with a group of fifty countries known as the Rammstein Group. "We are now discussing how we can build a stronger institutional framework for NATO around this issue and ensure that support is 'long-term predictable' and that the burden is shared fairly," Lahbib added. 

From his perspective, he expects NATO leaders to make a decision on the issue at the summit in Washington next July. Meanwhile, Russia has pointed out that NATO has reverted to a Cold War mentality as it celebrates its 75th anniversary this week.