NATO may take charge of military aid to Ukraine

A NATO flag flies at the headquarters in Brussels. Daniel Naupold/dpa
A NATO flag flies at the headquarters in Brussels. Daniel Naupold/dpa
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NATO could take formal responsibility for coordinating military support to Ukraine from its member states, the alliance's secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Wednesday.

"Ministers will discuss how NATO could assume more responsibility for coordinating military equipment and training for Ukraine, anchoring this within a robust NATO framework," Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

At the moment, NATO itself is not officially providing any lethal aid to Ukraine's defensive war against Russia's invasion of its territory. Instead, NATO member states have been coordinating military aid through something called the Ukraine Contact Group, chaired by the United States - an arrangement known as the "Ramstein format."

But on Wednesday NATO foreign ministers will discuss a proposal from Stoltenberg to transfer responsibility for coordinating lethal aid from the Ukraine Contact Group to NATO proper.

The point of the proposal is to make such aid to Ukraine more stable and predictable, Stoltenberg said.

"We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for a long haul so that we rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments, less on short-term offers and more on multi-year pledges," he said.

"NATO allies provide 99% of all military support to Ukraine. Doing more under NATO would make our efforts more efficient and more effective. Moscow needs to understand that they cannot achieve their goals on the battlefield and they cannot wait us out."