NATO to coordinate security assistance and training for Ukraine

NATO will take the lead in coordinating security assistance and training for Ukrainian forces, it announced on Friday. NATO Defence ministers adopted the plan at a two-day meeting in Brussels. The plan will be launched at the alliance's next summit in Washington in July.

Since the start of the Russian invasion, NATO members have channelled their assistance to Ukraine outside the alliance to avoid it becoming a party to the conflict. Now member states have agreed on a plan outlining how NATO will take the lead in coordinating military assistance and training, said Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance's secretary-general.

Under the plan - called "NATO Security Assistance and Support for Ukraine" (NSATU) - a NATO command will be based at a US Army base in Wiesbaden, Germany, led by a three-star general. According to Stoltenberg, the effort will require some 700 personnel from NATO and partner countries.

Orban refuses

"NATO will oversee the training of Ukrainian forces at training facilities in member states, assist Ukraine by planning and coordinating donations, manage the transfer and repair of equipment, and provide support for the long-term development of the Ukrainian armed forces," Stoltenberg said on Friday after the meeting in Brussels.

Stoltenberg reiterated that the plan would not make NATO a party to the conflict. But it does aim to improve the alliance's support for Ukraine, so that the country can defend itself from Russia.

Notably, Hungary will not take part in the project. Prime minister Viktor Orban fears the plan will push the alliance into a direct confrontation with Russia.


NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian Defence minister Rustem Umerov. PHOTO: SIMON WOHLFAHRT / AFP

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