NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (right) in conversation with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Wednesday
Image: AFP

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wants to promise Ukraine 100 billion for the next five years. The official reason: the situation on the battlefield. But behind it all lies another concern.

AWhen the NATO foreign ministers sat down at the alliance's headquarters on Wednesday, there was a big elephant in the room: Donald Trump. For months, the allies have been watching closely everything the Republican presidential candidate says regarding security and defense. The interim conclusion goes something like this: A second Trump term is possible, and it would be even more difficult than the first because then the “adults in the room” would be missing. This refers to former NATO generals like James Mattis, who was Trump's first defense secretary and kept him in check.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

However, diplomats still believe that they can still convince an unfettered Trump of the benefits of the alliance. The mantra is that you have to shoulder far more burdens than before. The summit in Washington at the beginning of July will only be about “burden sharing,” as they say in English.

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