NATO is moving forward with its plans to take over the coordination of arms supplies to Ukraine, which has been previously done by the United States, Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Feb. 9, citing government officials and diplomats.
It was the United States that created the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (Ramstein format), within which countries providing military support to Ukraine meet regularly at the American air base in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
However, according to the newspaper, an alternative mechanism is being sought, in part because of concerns about Donald Trump’s re-election as U.S. president.
According to Handelsblatt, plans to bring the Ramstein meetings under the auspices of NATO were developed by U.S. Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. These plans were discussed within the alliance this week.
But, as the newspaper notes, such a move would be “explosive,” as since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, NATO has emphasized that military assistance is a decision of individual member states, not a program of the alliance.
Sullivan and Stoltenberg’s plan is supported, in particular, by Eastern European countries, as well as the United Kingdom and France.
However, the German government is skeptical, noting that in this case, the alliance would be in line with the Kremlin’s narrative that NATO is “at war with Russia.”
The Ramstein format would also make it easier to engage states that support NATO in its efforts but are not members.
The next meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (Ramstein format) will take place on Feb. 14, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
The 18th virtual Ukraine Defense Contact Group (Ramstein format) meeting was on Jan. 23. Pentagon Deputy Spokesperson Sabrina Singh said it focused on Ukraine’s long-term needs, including increased supplies of long-range weapons.
Earlier, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, stated that Kyiv would collaborate with the American people’s elected president. She noted Ukraine’s gratitude to former President Donald Trump for supplying Javelin missiles.
National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov also said that if Trump becomes president, it will not be a tragedy for Ukraine. He is convinced that the state will exist regardless of who wins the election.
Donald Trump has repeatedly boasted that he could end Russia’s war against Ukraine within 24 hours but has not provided any details of his plan. Trump also said that he would “allow” the aggressor state to seize part of Ukraine.
Commenting on Trump’s statements, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the transfer of parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and Crimea to Russia was not a peaceful plan but a surrender. He also invited Trump to visit Ukraine.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine