NATO Fails to Reach Agreement on €40 Billion Ukraine Funding Plan

NATO has yet to agree on a proposal to provide long-term funding for Ukraine, totaling €40 billion ($43 billion), according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The proposal was discussed during a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Friday. Reports indicate that Italy opposed the plan, which was already a reduction from Stoltenberg’s initial request of €100 billion.

This “long-term financial pledge” is one of four key objectives NATO aims to achieve for Ukraine before the Washington summit next month, Stoltenberg said to reporters after the meeting. 

“We have not yet reached an agreement on that,” he acknowledged.

“Many allies strongly support the idea that we need not only short-term pledges – which are certainly welcome – but also more long-term, predictable commitments. This would enable the Ukrainians to plan better,” Stoltenberg explained. “It would provide greater predictability and transparency, ensure fair burden-sharing within the alliance, and most importantly, send a message to Moscow that they cannot outwait us.”

NATO ministers did reach an agreement on the plan for Security Assistance and Training for Ukraine and pledged to deliver more ammunition and equipment to Kiev in the short term, Stoltenberg highlighted, adding that “there will be further announcements in the coming days and weeks.”

With the Washington summit approaching, Stoltenberg indicated that the financial pledge and the “language” regarding Ukraine’s potential membership remain to be finalized in the “few weeks” remaining.

Kiev had anticipated a formal invitation to join NATO last year at the Vilnius summit. When this did not materialize, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky criticized the US-led bloc on social media, calling for a clearer path towards membership from Washington. NATO ultimately responded by stating that Ukraine would be invited “when allies agree and conditions are met.”

On Thursday, Stoltenberg declared that “an absolute minimum” condition for Ukraine’s membership would be . The US and its allies have supplied Ukraine with weapons, ammunition, and equipment over the past two years while maintaining that they are not participants in the conflict. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that Moscow would be prepared for a ceasefire if Kiev signed a pledge never to join NATO and withdrew its troops from the four regions that have joined Russia. Kiev has denounced this proposal as an “ultimatum” and it.