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NATO foreign ministers to debate long-term Ukraine support

Published April 03,2024

Foreign ministers from NATO's 32 member states will meet in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the alliance's support for Ukraine as well as future relations with Russia.

How to help Ukraine best defend against Russia is the main issue, with a military support package worth €100 billion ($108 billion) over the next five years up for discussion, according to multiple diplomats.

A second part of the alliance's plans to bolster support for Ukraine for the long-term involves a new NATO mission to coordinate deliveries of military aid and training for the Ukrainian military.

So far the United States has assumed the primary role of coordinating arms deliveries to Ukraine through a body known as the Ukraine Defence Contact Group.

Proposed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, according to diplomats, the idea is to make alliance support for Ukraine less dependent on political events in individual allies like the US.

The two-day meeting at NATO headquarters comes ahead of a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the Western alliance's foundation on Thursday.

NATO flew in the alliance's original treaty from Washington for the anniversary with the document's delivery receiving a police escort .

The 75th anniversary comes when the threat from Russia towards NATO is at its highest level since the Cold War with the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Hanging over the meeting is the question of who will succeed Stoltenberg as NATO secretary general. Most NATO members back Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

However the winning candidate needs the support of all allies. Hungary opposes Rutte and Turkey yet to back him. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has also nominated himself.