Donald Trump has been described as "unhinged" by the white House over his NATO comments. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


NATO takes over military aid programme for Ukraine


NATO will assume control over the co-ordination of arms deliveries to Ukraine from the US, the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced.

“I expect that ministers will approve a plan for NATO to lead the co-ordination of security assistance and training to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said ahead of a two-day meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on June 13-14.

The announcement followed Hungary’s decision to drop its opposition to the Ukraine support package that NATO plans to finalise at its Washington summit in July.

That includes a financial pledge and the transfer of co-ordination of arms supplies and training to NATO.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán received assurances from Stoltenberg that his country would not be required to fund Ukraine or send personnel there.

Stoltenberg’s proposal for NATO to take on the co-ordination of international military aid for Ukraine gives the alliance a more direct role in Kyiv’s battle against Russia, but without committing its own forces.

The move is largely viewed as a measure to insulate the aid mechanism from potential disruption, particularly if Trump were installed as US president and slashed aid to Ukraine.

Sources within NATO claimed that the measures were considered after several members, especially European ones, also wavered in committing to continuing their unconditional support for Ukraine.

At the next major NATO summit in Washington in July, Stoltenberg, with an eye on marking his departure as Secretary General, wanted “everyone to be at the same starting point”, according to the organisation.