NATO strengthens its support for Ukraine


NATO countries reinforced their support for Ukraine this Wednesday during a historic summit in Washington by sending F-16 aircraft, air defense batteries and recognizing that it is on an “irreversible path” to becoming a member of the Atlantic alliance.

“Russia remains the most significant and direct threat to the security of allies,” the final statement said.

The text says that at this summit “we took new measures to strengthen our deterrence and defence, to strengthen our long-term support to Ukraine so that it can win the war against Russia”.

But the leaders are concerned about the position of China, which “has become a decisive supporter of Russia’s war against Ukraine through its so-called ‘no holds barred’ partnership and massive support for Russia’s defence industrial base”, they allege.

Even before the official opening of the summit, several NATO countries have announced that they have begun sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was in the US capital, said the planes bring the country closer to “a just and lasting peace”.

– “The Irreversible Path” –

F-16s from Denmark and the Netherlands “will be flying in Ukrainian skies this summer,” announced the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken.

The White House, for its part, specified that Belgium and Norway have promised to provide more equipment.

Ukraine would like to receive a formal invitation to join NATO, but it will still have to wait due to opposition from several countries, including the United States.

The statement said it had to be satisfied with recognition that it was on an “irreversible path” towards NATO membership.

According to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the decisions taken by NATO “provide Ukraine with the clarity it needs.”

The leaders met at the North Atlantic Council after grandly celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Western military alliance on Tuesday.

US President Joe Biden confirmed on Tuesday that allies would provide Ukraine with a total of five air defense systems, including four Patriot-type batteries, surface-to-air missiles that are particularly effective at intercepting Russian ballistic projectiles.

Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Italy will also contribute.

Russia has recently stepped up its missile attacks on Ukraine, killing 43 people and destroying the country’s largest children’s hospital in Kiev this week.

Russian missiles have also destroyed half of the country’s energy capacity.

Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that more than two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the allies would also commit to developing their defense industry.

“This new commitment sends a clear message to the world,” Biden stressed, satisfied that 23 of the 32 countries that make up the alliance will now allocate 2% of their GDP to military spending.

The leaders also decided that their military aid to Ukraine would amount to at least 40 billion euros (about $43 billion) “over the next year.”

– The shadow of Trump –

The Washington summit is being held amid political uncertainty in the United States, where Biden is struggling to suppress a revolt by Democratic congressmen who have called on him to abandon his race for a second term against Trump after his disastrous debate with Republicans.

The shadow of former President Trump looms over the summit, whose statements about NATO appear to undermine the principle of mutual assistance provided for in Article 5 of the treaty.

“I hope that whatever the outcome of the election, the United States will remain a strong and loyal NATO ally,” Stoltenberg declared on Wednesday.

However, Finnish President Alexander Stubb acknowledged that polarization in the United States is “very toxic”.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who holds the EU’s rotating presidency, is also attending the summit after his controversial visits to Moscow and Beijing.

The Ukrainian president will meet congressmen before attending the NATO-Ukraine Council on Thursday, the last day of the summit.

It will be a crucial day for Biden, as all eyes will be on the press conference he has planned. Not just what he says, but how he says it will also be scrutinized.



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