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Stoltenberg: In Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States and its allies have spent trillions, and in Ukraine billions

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pays an unannounced visit to Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pays an unannounced visit to Ukraine. The NATO Secretary General discussed the initiative to create a $100 billion Special Allied Contribution Fund for Ukraine for 5 years. Meanwhile, U.S. aid is already arriving in Ukraine as part of the funding approved by Congress. At the same time, Republican presidential candidate D. Trump said that Europe should help Ukraine at the level of the United States.

That is, if the United States is providing $61 billion in aid to Ukraine in 2024, the Europeans should provide the same assistance this year, otherwise Washington will reconsider whether to continue to provide aid to Kyiv. It seems that Western capitals have finally begun to understand that the Ukrainian struggle is of great importance to the West, as it is a struggle not only to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity, but also to defend the common values of the democratic world in the face of the Kremlin's dictatorship. The support of Kyiv by its allies comes at a much lower price than the potentially devastating consequences of Putin's military success in Ukraine.

Therefore, Ukraine has every right to become a member of NATO, and Jens Stoltenberg assured the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv that this will happen. Meanwhile, Jens Stoltenberg also made it clear that Kyiv will not receive an official invitation to join the Alliance at the NATO summit in Washington in July. He expects the NATO summit to strengthen its role in coordinating assistance to Ukraine, which the Alliance should put on a stronger long-term basis. At the Washington summit in July, participants are expected to agree on a greater role for NATO in coordinating security assistance and training for Ukraine. In addition, NATO member states are strengthening their own defense production and working on joint production with Ukraine.

Stoltenberg invited the President of Ukraine to the anniversary summit, noting that long-term support for Ukraine by the Allies requires a serious multi-year financial commitment. And this will be a serious and clear signal to Moscow that it will not be able to win and will not be able to wait it out. According to him, Ukraine has earned the right to be in NATO. This is the way that guarantees security for a long time. Stoltenberg pointed out that unlike the invitation to join the European Union, the invitation to join NATO "comes at the end of the process. And the ambition is to make Ukraine so powerful, so interoperable, and so well prepared that when the time is right, it will immediately become a NATO member.

At the same time, Jens Stoltenberg said that he could not predict when exactly Ukraine would become a NATO member, but that such a day would come, and it was important that at the time of such political readiness of the allies, it was ready for membership. Stoltenberg also expressed his respect for the Ukrainian military, which is deterring Russian aggression, emphasizing that Ukraine's struggle is very important for the whole West, because it is fighting for the common values of the democratic world, while Russia's partners are such players as the DPRK, Iran and China.

The Secretary General of the Alliance emphasized that all allies have declared that Ukraine will be a member of NATO and we need to move towards this goal. The problem now is that when a state is invited to become a member of the treaty, it is necessary not just to have a majority of 32 allies, but for all allies to agree to this decision. And at the moment, no such agreement has been reached, and this is the reality.

During a meeting between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv, the two discussed ways to repel Russian aggression, further cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, and real unification of forces. Zelensky noted that the Russian army is currently trying to take advantage of the situation when Ukraine is waiting for military supplies from its partners, primarily the United States. The Russian army is preparing for further offensive actions and it is necessary to disrupt the Russian offensive.

The meeting also touched on preparations for the NATO summit, which could be a moment of strength for the Alliance or not. "It is there that will decide whether the enemy of the Alliance will have the opportunity to veto NATO's strengthening. And this is decided precisely in the issue of Ukraine, which deserves an invitation to join NATO," the Ukrainian president emphasized, noting that he is also convinced that Ukraine will not become a NATO member until it wins the war unleashed by the Russian Federation. "We will be in NATO only when we win. In times of war, we will not be accepted into NATO. This is a risk for some of the NATO members, and some people are just skeptical about it," Zelensky said. The issue of NATO is decided by the majority and it is a political issue.

And for Ukraine to be accepted into the Alliance politically, it needs a victory. According to V. Zelensky, one of the reasons for today's war is that Ukraine was not a NATO member before. Many years ago, there was a corresponding skepticism of some members, and Russia worked very hard with the Alliance members. Moscow did everything to prevent Kyiv from joining not only NATO, but even the European Union, to prevent Ukraine from developing and to prevent it from being cut off from Russian influence.

In an interview with the media after his visit to Kyiv, Jens Stoltenberg said that delays in the supply of military aid from NATO members had affected Ukraine's trust, and that NATO's increased role in this process could resolve the situation. Ukraine's trust in its NATO allies has been undermined by delays in the delivery of weapons, and such failures indicate the need to reconsider the coordination of international military assistance to Kyiv.

This requires a more robust, institutionalized framework for such support to ensure predictability, greater accountability, and burden sharing. A multi-year plan should be created that clearly defines the contribution of each Ally to Ukraine. This money will be a "tiny fraction" of what the United States and its allies have spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We spent trillions there, and in Ukraine we are talking about billions," J. Stoltenberg summarized.

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