With a fund of 100 billion euros, Ukraine should even survive a second time with Trump

With a fund of 100 billion euros, Ukraine should even survive a second time with Trump
With a fund of 100 billion euros, Ukraine should even survive a second time with Trump

There is no doubt among allies that the war in Ukraine will continue for a long time. It is therefore crucial that there is more continuity in arms deliveries. Now they depend entirely on the willingness of the individual countries. Over the past two years, NATO officials could not emphasize enough that it was not the military alliance that supplied weapons, but the member states. In doing so, NATO at least tried to create the image that it was not directly involved in the war.

But Jens Stoltenberg wants to cross the Rubicon. During a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, the outgoing Secretary General put forward the proposal to set up a fund of 100 billion euros, with which the alliance will purchase weapons itself over a period of five years. Although he was reluctant to provide details, the intention is for the fund to be filled with contributions from the 32 member states. The fairest way to distribute them is to make them dependent on a country’s GDP. Estonia immediately proposed that each country contribute 0.25 percent of its GNP.


The first reactions to the plan were not negative. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock spoke of a “correct and important” plan that could bring more structure to arms support. Poland also immediately supported it. However, it remains to be seen whether the plan will become reality. All 32 Member States must agree to it and that will not be easy. Hungary was quick to put it down. “We do not support any proposal that would draw NATO deeper into the war,” the government spokesperson wrote on X.

The Hungarians do not really want to be obstructive yet. Stoltenberg stressed that he had called the Hungarian Prime Minister twice in recent days and that he would listen carefully to Budapest’s concerns. “NATO remains absolutely a defensive organization. We are not talking about the presence of NATO soldiers in Ukraine. We only provide outside support.” In any case, the plan to make support to Ukraine more robust will be further discussed in the coming weeks. Stoltenberg hopes for a breakthrough by the Washington summit in early July.

There are several reasons why Stoltenberg wants to better structure aid to Ukraine and make it more sustainable. He knows he cannot offer the Ukrainians NATO membership. That remains a problem especially for the Americans no go. That is why he tries to give them the feeling in other ways that they can count on the alliance structurally and in the long term.

The fact that NATO wants to coordinate more arms support itself also has to do with the American elections. If Donald Trump becomes president again, American support is in danger of drying up completely. More security is built in with a fund into which all member states contribute money. Over the past two years, the US has mainly coordinated military support. This happened during the “Ramstein consultations”, where non-Nato allies also sit at the table. With the possible arrival of Trump, these consultations threaten to deteriorate. The new formula that Stoltenberg is working on should limit that risk.

Anti-aircraft defense needed

The problem remains that Ukraine mainly needs ammunition and anti-aircraft defense at very short notice. With seven Patriot systems, major Ukrainian cities would be much better protected against Russian air attacks. But even those won’t happen for a while. “What is the power of the West if they cannot deliver,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba cynically noted in an interview with NRC.

The most important initiative that can quickly help the Ukrainians is the ammunition coalition that the Czech Republic has set up, with which 800,000 grenades will be purchased in the coming months. According to Prague, enough money has already been deposited to buy 300,000 grenades. “But if we want to reach 800,000, more money is urgently needed,” said the Czech Foreign Minister. This suggests that Stoltenberg’s 100 billion plan still has a long way to go.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: fund billion euros Ukraine survive time Trump


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