NATO head denies alliance is party to Ukraine war despite military aid

A round table meeting of the North Atlantic Council in foreign ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. NATO foreign ministers gathered in Brussels on Wednesday to debate plans to provide more predictable, longer-term support to Ukraine. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
By John Cody
3 Min Read

NATO member states have not yet decided on the structure of future assistance to Ukraine, but they have started planning for it, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday at the end of the first day of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

At the meeting, ministers discussed how to put assistance to Ukraine on a firmer and more permanent footing in the future.

“All Allies agree on the need to support Ukraine in this critical moment.There is a unity of purpose,” said Stoltenberg. He stressed that “The people of Ukraine continue to defend their country with skill and bravery” and that “the Ukrainians are not running out of courage, they are running out of ammunition.” He added that “We need to step up now to ensure our support is built to last.”

The Norwegian leader of NATO said details of the initiative would emerge in the coming weeks.

“We are now in the process of developing a more robust and enduring, institutionalised framework for support to Ukraine, that our support is less dependent on voluntary short term offers and more on long term NATO commitments,” said the secretary general.

He expressed the hope that now that allies have begun to discuss planning, a decision on the final form of assistance could be taken at the NATO summit in Washington in July.

Stoltenberg said that taking responsibility for aid to Ukraine would not make NATO a party to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“NATO is and will remain a defensive Alliance. And NATO is, and will remain, not a party to the conflict in Ukraine. We need to remember what this is. This is war or aggression by Russia invading another country, violating international law. And then Ukraine has the right, according to international law, to defend itself,” he said.

He also pointed out that Russia is receiving support for its war of aggression from China, North Korea, and Iran.

“As authoritarian powers increasingly align, it is important that like-minded nations around the world stand together. To defend a global order ruled by law, not by force,” Stoltenberg added.

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