A $100 billion NATO fund for Ukraine. Will it work?

James Hydzik

3 April 2024 - 21:43

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg put forward the idea that NATO needs a fund for supporting Ukraine militarily that is independent of any single country’s changes in direction.

A $100 billion NATO fund for Ukraine. Will it work?

NATO is actively looking at establishing mechanisms for supporting Ukraine over the long term. Foreign Ministers of NATO member states discussed the issue as they met in Brussels to mark the 75th anniversary of the organization’s founding.
While attendees agreed overall on the need to secure funding, a more controversial plan backed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was raised. The fund would raise $100 billion, with the 32 member states contributing proportionately based on each member’s Gross National Income, as is done with funding NATO overall.

The move comes as representatives from European member states posit changing the role of NATO in Ukraine’s defense. Control of the Ramstein Group monthly meetings coordinating support for Ukraine is also under consideration.

Money is a question

Overall, media are showing that the idea of changing from the current ad-hoc support to a structured long-term program for Ukraine is welcome among the foreign ministers present. For example, the Financial Times quotes German FM Annalena Baerbock as saying that, “For us, it is essential that we pour the ad hoc structures into reliable, long-term structures.”

Putting together a $100bn fund would require a consensus on the part of all 32 NATO member states. This might be difficult, as the FT quoted Hungary’s foreign minister Péter Szijjártó as saying that his country was not in favor of, “proposals that might draw the alliance closer to war or shift it from a defensive to an offensive coalition”.

So is control

The foreign ministers also considered the need to have NATO control aid to Ukraine. This proposal has come under fire, but from a different direction.

Stoltenberg told reporters after the meeting that, "Today, Allies have agreed to move forward with planning for a greater NATO role in coordinating security assistance and training. The details will take shape in the weeks to come, but make no mistake: Ukraine can rely on NATO support now, and for a long haul."

The response from Washington about the idea of the U.S. releasing control of the Ramstein Group was negative. White House national security communications adviser John Kirby told reporters at a press conference in Washington that, "The president believes that America, and U.S. leadership remains vital, remains important. And he’s confident that we’re going to be able to continue to demonstrate that leadership."

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