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Polish FM says NATO can afford $100bn Ukraine aid fund

05.04.2024 08:30
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski has said NATO is prepared for an extended conflict in Ukraine and can afford a strategic five-year USD 100 billion aid fund for Kyiv.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski. Photo: PAP/Abaca

"It would be important for Putin to understand that we are planning - if necessary - for several years," Sikorski said in a statement on Thursday, after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

He argued that Putin "is not in a position" to win the war "in a few months or in even a year or two."

'We can afford a long-term conflict'

"As the North Atlantic Alliance, we are 20 times richer than he is, and if necessary, we can afford a long-term conflict," Sikorski told reporters, as quoted by Polish state news agency PAP.

He said the proposed USD 100 billion allocation would not only be a substantial financial commitment but also a critical political gesture.

Addressing inquiries about NATO's evolving role and the potential impact of US political dynamics, Sikorski clarified the strategic direction affirmed during the Brussels meeting, the PAP news agency reported.

'We have made the decision to establish a NATO mission'

"We have made the decision to establish a NATO mission," he said. "This doesn't mean that we're entering the war, but rather that we'll now be able to utilize NATO's coordinating, training, and planning capabilities to support Ukraine in a better manner."

Asked about bilateral agreements on security cooperation, Sikorski confirmed that work "is already relatively advanced" on such an agreement between Warsaw and Kyiv, but did not provide a date for its signing.

Sikorski also confirmed progress on bilateral security cooperation and leadership representation within NATO, and when asked about ongoing discussions on the selection of the next NATO secretary-general, he voiced support for greater Central and Eastern European (CEE) presence in key positions.

CEE 'underrepresented' in key NATO, EU, UN roles: Polish FM

"There was a discussion in which I supported the voice of one of my colleagues that our region is underrepresented in the command and leadership structures, and not only in the North Atlantic Alliance, but also in the European Union and the United Nations," Sikorski said.

He announced: "We will work vigorously so that more Poles, more people from our region hold leadership positions in these three areas."

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis are officially in the race for NATO secretary-general.


Source: PAP, IAR

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.