Meeting in Bucharest: NATO discusses winter aid for Ukraine

Status: 11/29/2022 1:49 am

NATO foreign ministers meet in Bucharest today to discuss continued support for Ukraine. It should also go to help for the bombed energy infrastructure.

By Stephan Ueberbach, ARD Studio Brussels, currently Bucharest

Hundreds of NATO flags fly next to the Romanian flag on all main traffic routes from Bucharest airport towards the city centre. Of course, the venue has a symbolic meaning. Not only for Romania, the country on the south-eastern edge of the alliance area, but far beyond.

The NATO meeting in Bucharest should also be understood as a signal to Kyiv and Moscow. At its 2008 summit in the Romanian capital, the military alliance promised Ukraine, among others, membership.

Rapid accession, as desired by the Ukrainian government, is considered unlikely in the foreseeable future given the ongoing war, also because the western defense alliance wants to avoid a direct conflict with Russia.

Stoltenberg promises further help

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promises that Ukraine can continue to rely on the armaments aid and financial support from NATO to ward off the Russian invaders.

When Putin and other authoritarian leaders see that violence pays off, they don’t stop. This makes the world more insecure and all of us more vulnerable. So it is in all of our interests to help Ukraine.”

The NATO Secretary General expects further Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy supply in the coming days and weeks. President Putin is trying to use the cold as a weapon, for the people of Ukraine it is “a terrible start to the winter.”

Support for energy infrastructure

The deliberations on further support for the Ukraine should therefore not only deal with winter equipment, medical material or anti-drone jammers for the Ukrainian armed forces, but also with generators and transformers, as well as further technology, know-how and financial aid for restoring the power supply. and gas supply.

To this end, on a German initiative, among other things, there should be concrete talks with countries in NATO and the G7 that have the relevant skills. In her budget speech last week, foreign office chief Annalena Baerbock assured Ukraine of the support and solidarity of the federal government.

Because the bombing just doesn’t stop, despite the grain deal, despite the diplomacy because of Zaporizhia, but targeted infrastructure attacks. And we will not allow Russia’s strategy of starvation and freezing to succeed.

Delivery of anti-aircraft systems on the agenda

Bucharest will probably also deal with the German proposal to deliver Patriot air defense systems for the Bundeswehr to Poland after two people died there when a suspected stray missile from Ukraine struck.

However, the Polish government prefers to pass the Patriots on to Ukraine, which the German government believes must first be discussed at NATO level. Secretary General Stoltenberg expects further commitments from the alliance partners for the delivery of air defense systems including spare parts and ammunition “so that Ukraine can defend itself against this terrible type of warfare.”

Turkey has so far blocked enlargement

Foreign ministers from Sweden and Finland will also take part in the meeting in Bucharest. Both countries want to join NATO, and with the exception of Hungary and Turkey, all alliance partners have now agreed. The Orban government in Budapest wants to give the green light early next year. The Turkish government, on the other hand, still refuses. From Ankara it is said that the process is going well, but there are still further steps to be taken.

Among other things, Turkey is demanding the extradition of alleged Kurdish terrorists. On the fringes of the NATO conference, the Turkish foreign minister wants to speak to his colleagues from Sweden and Finland. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hopes that the alliance’s northern expansion can be completed as quickly as possible.

The faster the better. Swedish and Finnish membership will improve transatlantic security. Both countries have long been partners in the Alliance, and they bring important capabilities that will strengthen the Alliance as a whole.

Meeting in Bucharest: NATO discusses winter aid for Ukraine

Stephan Ueberbach, ARD Brussels, 29.11.2022 00:41 a.m

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