Eyebrows raised in NATO as Stoltenberg pushes for long-term Ukraine support plan – Politico

Several European countries are reportedly worried that an effort to extend aid for Kiev will give the bloc even more power

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg’s idea to create a long-term €100 billion ($107 billion) plan to support Ukraine has sparked a lot of doubt within the organization, with many wondering where it came from in the first place, Politico reported on Wednesday.
The head of the US-led bloc previously urged NATO allies to “shift the dynamics of our support” for Ukraine which has repeatedly complained of the lack of Western-supplied ammunition and weapons while being hard-pressed by Russian troops.
To this end, the secretary-general proposed ensuring “reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for the long haul” which he said must be based on NATO’s long-term commitments rather than voluntary donations.
This came after several Western media reported that Stoltenberg wanted to draw up a five-year €100 billion package of military aid to Kiev, which would also see NATO take on more responsibility for coordinating the assistance to Ukraine from the US. He has declined to go into specifics however, and has not confirmed the figure, suggesting that the details will be hashed out by this summer.

Politico also reported that while top officials in countries such as Poland, Türkiye, and Germany have endorsed the initiative, some were much less enthusiastic. According to one of the outlet’s sources, some ministers from undisclosed countries “rolled their eyes” at the 100 billion number, unsure where it came from.
The article also says that several Western European nations fear that the plan would give NATO even more clout and undermine EU efforts to boost its own role in the defense sphere. It also remains unclear whether the sum would be attained through fresh contributions, or cobbled together from already existing programs.
Some Western diplomats also pointed out that debates over the plan are at an early stage, with some saying they would like to see the details first before supporting the initiative. However, Hungary turned out to be a notable exception, with Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto insisting that Budapest will oppose any moves that could lead to escalation.
Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, warning they will only prolong the conflict without changing its outcome. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has described NATO as “an aggressive bloc” using Ukraine as a tool to undermine Moscow.