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NATO chief highlights need to ensure 'predictable security assistance' to Ukraine

Jens Stoltenberg noted that the ministers "will discuss how NATO could assume more responsibility for coordinating military equipment and training for Ukraine"

BRUSSELS, April 3. /TASS/. NATO needs to rely on commitments rather than voluntary contributions when it comes to Ukraine aid, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ahead of NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.

"We need to shift the dynamics of our support. We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for the 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 pointed out. According to Stoltenberg, "Ukraine has urgent needs" and "any delay in providing support has consequences on the battlefield."

The NATO chief noted that the ministers "will discuss how NATO could assume more responsibility for coordinating military equipment and training for Ukraine." "We will also discuss a multi-year financial commitment to sustain our support. This ministerial will set the stage for achieving consensus on these issues as we prepare for the Washington Summit (scheduled for July 2024 - TASS)," Stoltenberg added.

"We see how demanding and difficult the situation is in Ukraine. So therefore we welcome everything NATO allies have done. At the same time, we see that we need to do more; it's not enough. The Ukrainians need more predictable and long-term support so it's possible to plan, organize and launch offensives," the NATO secretary general pointed out.

Coordination efforts

When asked if there were plans to abolish the Ramstein group and include it into NATO, Stoltenberg said: "Whatever we do, of course, will be closely coordinated with all the other initiatives that NATO allies are part of. NATO is part of the Ramstein group. NATO allies are part of their own subgroup. 99% of the NATO support provided to the Ramstein group is provided by NATO allies." "It's very much the same people," he noted, adding: "The general responsible for the whole logistics <...> is General [Christopher] Cavoli, and General Cavoli is the US commander in Europe, but General Cavoli is also the NATO commander in Europe."

Fund instead of membership

Bloomberg reported earlier, citing sources, that the NATO secretary general "is proposing to establish a fund of allied contributions worth $100 billion over five years for Ukraine as part of a package for alliance leaders to sign off when they gather in Washington in July." "As part of the package, NATO could also take over the operational duties of the US-led Ukraine Contact Defense Group, which coordinates weapons deliveries by about 50 countries to Ukraine," the sources said. According to Bloomberg, "institutionalizing NATO’s support could signal their commitment to Ukraine for the long term <...> - especially as members are unlikely to extend a formal invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance" at the Washington summit.