NATO Takes Charge of Ukraine Arms Aid Amidst Trump Re-Election Concerns
NATO Takes Charge of Ukraine Arms Aid Amidst Trump Re-Election Concerns

BRUSSELS, Belgium - NATO is poised to assume responsibility for coordinating arms deliveries to Ukraine, a task previously overseen by the United States, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. This shift comes as NATO anticipates the possibility of a second term for US President Donald Trump, who has been critical of the alliance.

"I expect that ministers will approve a plan for NATO to lead the coordination of security assistance and training to Ukraine," Stoltenberg informed reporters ahead of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.

Earlier in the day, Hungary withdrew its opposition to a NATO-supported aid package for Ukraine, which NATO aims to finalize at its Washington summit in July. The package includes financial commitments and the transfer of arms supply and training coordination to NATO.

During a visit to Budapest, Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that Hungary would not obstruct NATO's decisions on supporting Ukraine but clarified that Hungary would not be directly involved in the effort. Orban received assurances from Stoltenberg that Hungary would not be required to provide funding or deploy personnel to Ukraine.

Hungary's stance has been at odds with other NATO members due to Orban's close ties with Russia and his refusal to send arms to Ukraine. Last month, Hungary's foreign minister criticized plans to assist Ukraine as a "crazy mission."

Stoltenberg proposed that NATO assume the role of coordinating international military aid for Ukraine, thereby enhancing NATO's involvement in countering Russia's invasion without committing NATO forces directly.

The move is widely seen as a measure to "Trump-proof" the aid coordination by placing it under NATO's umbrella. However, diplomats acknowledge that this step may have limited effectiveness, given that the US is NATO's predominant power and supplies the majority of weapons to Ukraine. Therefore, if the US were to reduce Western aid to Kyiv, it would still have the capability to do so.

Stoltenberg has urged NATO allies to maintain military aid funding for Ukraine at the current levels seen since Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, totaling approximately 40 billion euros annually. He expressed hope that allies would reach an agreement on a financial pledge before the summit to ensure more robust and predictable support for Ukraine.

UK Readies $309.69 Million Aid

In parallel, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's office announced on Wednesday that the UK will provide up to 242 million pounds ($309.69 million) in bilateral assistance to Ukraine at the G7 summit. This aid is intended to support immediate humanitarian, energy, and stabilization needs in Ukraine.

"We must be decisive and creative in our efforts to support Ukraine and end Putin’s illegal war at this critical moment," Sunak emphasized ahead of the summit.

The Group of Seven nations and the European Union are also exploring the possibility of using profits from Russian assets frozen in the West to provide Ukraine with a substantial upfront loan to secure financing for 2025.

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