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NATO chief Stoltenberg wants to prepare for US defeat

NATO chief Stoltenberg wants to prepare for US defeat

As of: April 3, 2024 7:20 pm

So far, arms assistance to Ukraine has been a voluntary commitment by individual NATO countries. The US could no longer be a central supporter. Secretary General Stoltenberg is already making plans to prepare the coalition for this

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg did not specify the secret number. 100 billion euro for Ukraine in the next five years? “It's clear that we need more money for Ukraine, and it has been for years,” he explained.

Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Labib was wary of the sum: “It is dangerous to make promises we cannot keep,” she told a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

NATO should take the lead

So Ukraine must have more money – and as Stoltenberg has repeatedly emphasized, it must be permanent, strong and reliable. The attacked country cannot depend on “voluntary donations” but requires pledges from NATO. Stoltenberg was clearly critical of the US because it had not released money to Ukraine for months. An unusual blow to an otherwise diplomatic NATO leader.

“We have already launched a special fund. It is possible,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach said of the plans. The outgoing secretary-general wants to give the alliance more influence ahead of NATO's 75th anniversary, which will be celebrated on a smaller scale in Brussels tomorrow.

Administration is still with the Americans

Stoltenberg ends in autumn. His successor was Dutchman Mark Rutte. He will support this new strategy. This includes more money, but also coordination of military aid to Ukraine, training of soldiers and better networking of the country with NATO organizations.

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So far, some of these tasks have been accomplished using the so-called Rammstein format. Under the leadership of the Americans, up to 50 countries met regularly at the military base in Ramstein in Rhineland-Palatinate to coordinate aid to Ukraine. So should this format be abolished?

“We already have a lot of synergy and I appreciate the Ramstein design,” Stoltenberg said. “We have many multilateral and bilateral initiatives. Providing a strong and sustainable framework is essential to ensure predictability and commitment for the long term.”

The “Trump” scenario

In fact, there are many organizations that want to support Ukraine and need money from member states like NATO and the EU. A number of countries, including the NATO-Ukraine Council, the Ramstein-Former, and Germany, provide direct assistance to Ukraine.

A total of 32 billion euros in civil and military aid has been provided so far, Foreign Minister Baerbach said in Brussels. Some diplomats in Brussels describe the move as “Trump-proof”. If the next US president cuts support for NATO, the alliance will be ready.

A message to Moscow

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also attended the meeting. However, his government plane broke down and he arrived a little late. Instead of flying, he had to drive from Paris to Brussels.

Either way, Stoltenberg has no doubt that NATO is sending a message to Moscow with its new initiative. “The sooner Russia realizes that they are not winning on the battlefield, the sooner we will reach a peace agreement,” he said.

Nothing is decided these days. Everything is gearing up for the NATO summit in Washington in July. Then the anniversary should also be properly celebrated with the Heads of State and Government.

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Sabrina Fritz, ART Brussels, Tagessao, April 3, 2024 at 5:11 pm