NATO celebrates its 75th anniversary and is discussing long-term aid for Ukraine. The Weimar Triangle warns against concessions to Putin.

A man opens his arms and looks at the camera.

NATO chief Stoltenberg wants to raise billions for Ukraine Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman

Stoltenberg proposes new military package for Ukraine

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has proposed a five-year military aid package worth €100 billion for Ukraine. This should give the Western alliance a more direct role in supporting kyiv, five diplomats said on Tuesday. The goal apparently is to make aid to Ukraine more independent from the US. The plan calls for NATO to take over some of the coordination work of the so-called Ramstein Group, led by the United States.

The proposal is expected to be discussed at a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday and Thursday. The goal is to put together a package before the NATO summit in Washington in July. The defense alliance has so far limited itself to supplying non-lethal materials to Ukraine, fearing that a more direct role could trigger an escalation of tensions with Russia. Therefore, most of its members supply weapons to Ukraine on a bilateral basis. The EU also finances arms shipments.

But diplomats say there is a growing view within NATO that it is time to put military aid to Ukraine on a more sustainable, long-term basis. Behind this there is also disillusionment with the United States: US President Joe Biden cannot get Congress to approve his huge military package for Ukraine. There are fears that if Donald Trump returns to the White House after the presidential election in November, US aid to Ukraine could end entirely. (rtr)

Weimar Triangle warns against concessions to Putin

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland warned against a “policy of concessions” towards Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown that such a policy would be “naive”, stressed Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) and her counterparts Stéphane Séjourné and Radoslaw Sikorski in a guest article published in the news magazine on Wednesday. political.

“We must not allow any 'gray zone' because Putin sees it as an invitation to undermine territorial integrity and sovereignty, draw imaginary lines on the map and, ultimately, use military force,” the foreign ministers of the called Weimar Triangle. They warned that Putin would not be satisfied with Ukraine: “We must not make a mistake. Today Ukraine is under attack; tomorrow it could be another part of Europe.” Russia will not abandon its “aggressive and imperialist policy” in the foreseeable future. (afp)

Cameron calls for increased defense spending

Ahead of the NATO foreign ministers' meeting, British department head David Cameron called on defense alliance members to increase spending on weapons. Ukraine is closer than ever to joining the alliance, Cameron said. Therefore, NATO must maintain its support for the country attacked by Russia so that Ukraine can win the war. “In the face of continued Russian aggression and a more dangerous world, allies must increase defense spending.”

Cameron also plans to ask allies at the Brussels meeting to join efforts to buy cruise missiles and ammunition for the Ukrainian armed forces. “75 years after its founding, we celebrate a NATO that has never been stronger or more important, especially after the accession of Sweden last month,” Cameron said.

The alliance celebrates its 75th anniversary this Thursday. Ten years ago it agreed that members would invest at least two percent of their gross domestic product on arms. Cameron was then British Prime Minister. Britain currently spends around 2.2 percent of GDP on defence. (dpa)

Army recruitment increases in Ukraine after terrorist attack

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the attack on a concert hall near Moscow led many citizens to report for military service. This year, 100,000 people have already signed contracts. In the last ten days alone there were 16,000. During job interviews, most applicants gave the reason that they wanted to avenge the 144 killed in the attack. An affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the crime. However, Russia referred to Ukraine. Ukraine rejects it. (rtr)

Russian attack on educational institution

According to authorities in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, eighteen people were injured in a Russian missile attack. An educational institution was hit in the attack. The region's governor, Serhiy Lysak, said on Telegram that twelve of the injured remained in hospital.

According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Russian army is “pushing Ukrainian units back to the west.” According to Russian media, Shoigu told a meeting of commanders that Russian forces had captured 403 square kilometers of territory since New Year's Day and had gained control of five cities and towns in eastern Ukraine in March. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied Shoigu's statements in his afternoon video address. Reuters could not independently verify reports from both sides on the military situation. (rtr)

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