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Politico: NATO eyes $100 billion Ukraine fund and Ramstein group takeover amid looming Trump presidency

Amid a stalled $60 billion US military aid package and a looming Trump presidency in the US, NATO aims to formalize its support for Ukraine, per Politico sources.
nato secretary general jens stoltenberg new military assitance ukraine ramstein
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is set to propose a five-year $100 billion fund for Ukraine on 3 April
Politico: NATO eyes $100 billion Ukraine fund and Ramstein group takeover amid looming Trump presidency

NATO foreign ministers meet on 3 April for a 2-day meeting in Brussels. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is set to propose a five-year $100 billion fund for Ukraine, two diplomats told POLITICO.

This fund would reportedly provide a stable and predictable source of financial assistance for Ukraine in the long run, ensuring that it can continue to defend itself against Russian aggression.

The proposal comes at a time when US military aid to Ukraine has been stalled in Congress for more than six months, and there are concerns about the potential return of former President Donald Trump to the White House, who has been critical of NATO and US support for Ukraine.

The US Congress delayed a $60 billion military aid package for Ukraine last fall, causing significant concerns about the continued flow of support to the country in its ongoing defense against Russia. The package, which the Senate passed as a part of a larger $95 billion supplemental funding bill, has been stuck in the House of Representatives by Speaker Mike Johnson, awaiting approval.

To bridge the gap created by the stalled $60 billion package, the Pentagon announced a new $300 million aid package for Ukraine in March. This package was made possible by utilizing cost savings from previous contracts, allowing the Department of Defense to send additional weapons without negatively impacting US military readiness.

According to the diplomats, one idea being considered is for NATO’s 32 members to contribute to the fund in proportion to their share of the alliance’s budget, based on their Gross National Income.

NATO allies are also discussing ways for the alliance to gradually assume control of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, also known as Ramstein Group, a US-led multinational group responsible for coordinating weapons shipments to Ukraine.

In another report, POLITICO stated that the discussions about NATO’s involvement with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group are happening “at very senior levels,” according to the US official, who added that one consideration heading into US and European elections is to make the group “more enduring.”

Jim Townsend, a former official at both the Pentagon and NATO, told POLITICO that some members of the NATO group believe that it would be beneficial to formalize the process of supporting Ukraine as a precautionary measure against the possibility of Donald Trump’s re-election as US president.

Townsend further explained that bringing support for Ukraine under NATO’s umbrella would help insulate it from a scenario in which the United States becomes preoccupied with China and cannot maintain its commitment to Ukraine, either due to shifting priorities or difficulties in securing the necessary funding.

According to POLITICO sources, NATO countries aim to finalize the details of these $100 billion fund proposals by the time of the NATO leaders’ summit in Washington, scheduled for July 2024.

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