Stoltenberg will give NOK 1,200 billion to Ukraine

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The creation of such a five-year fund is among what will be discussed at the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, Stoltenberg confirmed when he met the press on the way into the meeting.

– We must shift the focus from short-term promises of support to long-term commitments, he says.

He wants the NATO countries’ support for the war-torn country to be collected by NATO and then sent to Ukraine. This will make the support more predictable and robust, according to the Nato chief.

A possible decision on this will be taken at the summit in June.

According to NATO’s internal cost distribution, Norway must cover 1.76 percent of the alliance’s budgets. Norway’s share of a Ukraine fund of EUR 100 billion will thus amount to approximately NOK 20 billion.

Read more about the Ukraine war here!

Warning to Putin

– Doing more under NATO’s leadership will make the support more effective. We need more and fresh money for Ukraine. And we need it for years to come, says Stoltenberg.

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The creation of such a fund will mean that NATO member countries will have to spit more into the coffers. At the same time, it is a clear warning to Russia.

– Moscow must understand that they cannot achieve their goals on the battlefield. And they cannot wait for us to give up, Stoltenberg asserts.

At the same time, the fund could mean that for the first time NATO is sending weapons and ammunition directly to Ukraine, by taking care of donations that the countries have so far given individually.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg wants the member states to participate in the creation of a five-year fund of 100 billion euros for Ukraine. Photo: AP / NTB

Trump in the shadows

Stoltenberg also emphasizes that the alliance must change the way contributions are made in order to “protect aid to Ukraine from political winds”.

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– It is important that allies make decisions about support quickly, he says – with a clear address to the USA. There, Trump supporters have been blocking a major aid package for Ukraine for months.

– Any delay has consequences on the battlefield, emphasizes Stoltenberg.

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In addition, a possible election victory for Trump lurks in the shadows. His statements about NATO, in particular that the US will not necessarily come to the aid of another NATO country if Russia attacks, have caused unrest in the ranks.

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Takes over the Ramstein group

The plan also involves Nato taking over the management of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) – also called the Ramstein group – which is currently led by the US.

From Nato’s side, it is said that it will ensure a more stable and long-term management of the group, which now consists of over 60 countries.

Stoltenberg emphasizes that this does not mean major changes.

– It’s the same people. And the NATO countries account for 99 percent of the support given to Ukraine, he says.

But it is still unclear whether all member states will support the move. Hungary, for example, has long been opposed to providing military support to Ukraine.

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2024 could be black

Both NATO and the EU are fully focused on picking up the pace in Europe’s defense industry. But this takes time. Therefore, 2024 could be the darkest year for Ukraine.

Recently, Russia has carried out massive airstrikes against Ukrainian cities and, among other things, cut off the electricity supply in several places. In addition, the Russian forces have made little progress on the battlefield.

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This is not least due to the fact that Ukraine lacks air defense and artillery ammunition. According to NATO sources, Russia now has six times more artillery shells than Ukraine.

By next year, however, the hope is that built-in weaknesses in Russia will begin to be felt.

– Even though conditions are tough now, there is no panic, says another NATO source.

Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (Ap) will come to Brussels on Thursday and the meeting of foreign ministers in NATO. Photo: Javad Parsa / NTB

Do not push for negotiations

But one thing is absolutely certain: NATO will not become part of the war. A meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council has nevertheless been urgently called on Thursday.

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At the same time, NATO will not push Ukraine to enter into peace negotiations.

– We cannot trust Russia. Therefore, we also have no credible partner to negotiate with. There is no belief that Putin will comply with an agreement, says a senior NATO diplomat to NTB.

Rather, the hope is that the war will begin to burn for Russia over time.

The article is in Norwegian

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