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NATO approves plan to expand support for Ukraine

NATO defense ministers have approved an “operational plan for enhanced support to Ukraine” which envisages that the Alliance will take over international coordination of arms and training supplies for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Credit:
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Credit:
NATO approves plan to expand support for Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on June 14 said that the Alliance has approved an “operational plan for enhanced support to Ukraine” that envisions a greater role for NATO in supplying weapons and training to the Ukrainian military.

Stoltenberg said this during a press conference in Brussels, as reported afterwards on the official website of the Alliance.

“We have agreed on a plan that defines how NATO will manage the provision of assistance and training. This will allow efforts to begin at the summit in July,” the Alliance secretary general said.

The headquarters for coordinating assistance to Kyiv will be located in Wiesbaden in southern Germany, a US military base is already in operation, and logistics hubs will be set up in the eastern part of the Alliance.

These activities are expected to involve nearly 700 military personnel from NATO member and partner countries.

“NATO will oversee the training of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at training bases in Allied countries, support Ukraine through planning and coordination of assistance, manage the transfer and repair of equipment, and support the long-term development of the Ukrainian armed forces. These efforts will not make NATO a party to the conflict, but they will strengthen our support for Ukraine in defending its right to self-defense,” Stoltenberg said.

Originally, Hungary was opposed to the operational plan as put forward by the Alliance. But before the ministerial meeting in Brussels, Orban met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and agreed to lift his veto in exchange for a promise that Hungary would not participate in training Ukrainians or finance arms supplies.

NATO response to Russian hostile actions

The NATO defense ministers also agreed on response options for Russia’s hostile actions against the Allies. These include increased intelligence exchange, enhanced protection of critical infrastructure, including undersea and in cyber space, and further restrictions on Russian intelligence operatives.

“Russia’s campaign will not deter us from supporting Ukraine and we will continue to protect our territories and populations against any kind of hostile actions,” Stoltenberg said.

The next meeting of the Alliance, the so-called Washington Summit, will take place in the United States from 9 – 11 July 2024. Experts argue that the summit is meant to celebrate not only longevity, but also the Alliance’s effectiveness. A key question will be Ukraine’s future membership with regards to the Alliance.

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