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Nato boss floats 100 billion euro military aid fund for Ukraine

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he addresses a news conference to give the alliances annual report at NATO headquarters in Brussels. — AFP/File
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he addresses a news conference to give the alliance’s annual report at NATO headquarters in Brussels. — AFP/File

BRUSSELS: Nato boss Jens Stoltenberg has proposed a 100 billion euro ($107 billion), five-year package of military aid to Ukraine that would give the Western alliance a more direct role in providing support to Kyiv, five diplomats said on Tuesday.

Under the plan, Nato would take over some coordination work from a US-led ad-hoc coalition known as the Ramstein group – a step designed in part to guard against any cut in US support if Donald Trump returns to the White House, diplomats said.

The proposal is expected to be discussed at a two-day meeting of Nato foreign ministers on Wednesday and Thursday, with the aim of finalising a package in time for a Nato summit in Washington in July.

Until now, Nato as an organisation has restricted itself to non-lethal aid for Ukraine out of fears that a more direct role could trigger an escalation of tensions with Russia. Most of its members provide weapons to Ukraine on a bilateral basis.

But diplomats said there was a growing view within Nato that the time had come to put military aid to Ukraine on a more sustainable, long-term footing and the Western alliance was best placed to take on much of that role.

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