Ukraine cannot count on the assistance of NATO any sooner than this fall

Ukraine cannot count on the assistance of NATO any sooner than this fall
Photo: Reuters

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is not in a rush to help Ukraine in the military conflict in the eastern part of the country. The program for rendering technical assistance to Ukraine announced in May will be initiated no earlier than this autumn. Ukraine can count on receiving from NATO countries the means of communication with protected channels, reconnaissance systems and individual means of protection.

Director of the NSPA project in Ukraine (NATO Support Agency) Vasyl Lytvynchuk told Capital that the project of the trust fund for rendering technical assistance will be implemented through mechanisms of the agency that has solid and verified experience of working in Ukraine.

He says the creation of such a fund is theoretically possible no earlier than this autumn as there is a number of bureaucratic and technical obstacles. “So far there is no leading member country of NATO that according to the rules should manage the project and ensure political and partially financial support of the fund,” said Lytvynchuk.

For the first time talks with experts of NATO countries about the supply of military land-based hardware began in May 2014. On July 25 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the creation of a new trust fund for the long-term future. As a reminder, there is already a trust fund in Ukraine within the framework of the “Partnership for Peace” project for the recycling of excess and unusable ammunition that was removed from weapons. Later Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin stated that NATO adopted a decision to create three trust funds for Ukraine, though the details were not disclosed. A source of Capital in the Ministry of Defense said this is merely a technical issue. He said different funds are needed so that different groups of goods can pass through them.

Director of the information and analytical company Defense Express Serhiy Zgurets believes that potentially Ukraine can count on receiving means of communication with protected channels, reconnaissance systems and means of individual protection from NATO countries. Zgurets notes that security forces in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone are in dire need of unmanned systems to control the border between Ukraine and Russia.

“This issue is being discussed at the level of the European Commission. A number of countries expressed their readiness to hand over their obsolete unmanned planes. But so far nothing has been conveyed,” the expert says. According to Zgurets’ estimates, today a minimum of 100 unmanned planes with a short-distance radius of functioning are needed.

A source of Capital in the General Staff said on the right of anonymity that Ukraine should not expect serious technical assistance from NATO. He noted that military functionaries of NATO long ago sarcastically deciphered the abbreviation as (N-no, A-actions, T-talking and O-only). He said recently the military bloc has turned into a political debate club that is ready to “bury any sensible ideas about international security in consultations and negotiations”.

“Hoping for assistance from NATO today is a senseless waste of time and a malfeasant protraction. NATO in 1984 and 2014 are two totally different organizations,” said the interlocutor. He added that Ukraine has so far received humanitarian aid and means of individual protection only from the U.S. and France.

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