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NATO chief: Support for Ukraine 'not charity'

by Abbey Fenbert January 30, 2024 2:35 AM 3 min read
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participate in a joint press conference at the State Department on January 29, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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International support for Ukraine is not charity but an investment in global security, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a visit to the Pentagon on Jan. 29.

Stoltenberg is visiting Washington, D.C. to persuade U.S. legislators to approve a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine that has been stalled by congressional Republicans since October 2023.

“NATO allies are providing unprecedented support to Ukraine, and it’s important that we continue to do so,” Stoltenberg said at a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III.

“Our support is not charity; it’s an investment in our own security because the world will become more dangerous if (Russian) President Putin wins in Ukraine.”

Later on Jan. 29, Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which the leaders stressed that supporting Ukraine is a joint effort.  

Stoltenberg noted that NATO allies and partners, when combined, have contributed more financial assistance to Ukraine than the U.S. has alone.

Blinken said there is still "strong bipartisan support" for Ukraine in Congress, and that it was "absolutely vital" to provide continued funding for Ukrainian troops.

"There is no other magic pot of money, and we are now currently out of the military assistance we've been providing for Ukraine, and we're even seeing some evidence of what that means on the battlefield," Blinken said.

Zelensky: Europe cannot support Ukraine alone without US
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s fears have been echoed by other Ukrainian leaders, such as Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who said earlier in January that there is no “plan B” if U.S. aid ends.

Stoltenberg hopes to persuade Republicans in Congress to release long-delayed funds that are urgently needed on Ukraine's front line.

Senate Republicans blocked the funding bill in December, demanding tighter restrictions on border and immigration policy.

Stoltenberg will hold talks with lawmakers on Jan. 30, meeting with Republicans and Democrats from both chambers of Congress. He will also speak at conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation on Jan. 31, issuing a direct appeal to the most vocal opponents of  Ukraine aid.

Allies of former U.S. President and current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have argued against additional financial assistance for Kyiv.  

CNN reported on Jan. 26 that Senate negotiators had reached a deal on border bolicy and funding for Ukraine, but House Speaker Mike Johnson has already said that any such proposal will be "dead on arrival" when it advances to the House.  

Stoltenberg told reporters during the joint press conference that peace would not be possible without the defeat of Russian troops.

"Occupation is not peace," he said.

Ukraine war latest: Kyiv denies Russia captured village in Kharkiv Oblast
Key developments on Jan. 29: * Ukraine refutes Russia captured Tabaivka village near Kupiansk * Contradicting reports point at dismissal of Zaluzhnyi as top commander; Zelensky’s office denies it * Hungarian foreign minister arrives for bilateral meeting in Ukraine * Netherlands allocates $132…

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