European Leaders Concerned About Potential Shift in U.S. Support for Ukraine and NATO Post-Election


European leaders are increasingly worried that the upcoming U.S. presidential election in November could significantly alter Washington’s support for Ukraine and NATO. Republican candidate Donald Trump, 78, has raised questions about U.S. support for allies and the level of aid provided to Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will hold a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after a two-hour session with NATO leaders. He is also scheduled to meet with both Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Seeking to strengthen ties with U.S. lawmakers from both parties, Zelenskiy met with congressional leaders involved in defense, spending, diplomacy, and national security. He also extended an invitation to Mike Johnson, the Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, to visit Kyiv.

In a clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the United States announced on Wednesday that it would start deploying longer-range missiles in Germany in 2026, marking the most potent U.S. weapons to be stationed on the European continent since the Cold War.

A NATO declaration stated that allies would provide at least 40 billion euros ($43 billion) in military aid to Ukraine within the next year, though it stopped short of the multi-year commitment Stoltenberg had sought. NATO members pledged continued support for Ukraine “on its irreversible path to full Euro-Atlantic integration, including NATO membership.”

Greeting South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday, Stoltenberg highlighted the interconnected nature of European and Indo-Pacific security, citing Russia’s closer cooperation with North Korea. NATO is concerned about North Korea supplying munitions to Russia for the war in Ukraine and the possibility of Russia reciprocating with support for North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Yoon emphasized that the closer military and economic ties between Moscow and Pyongyang underscored the inseparability of European and Indo-Pacific security. He stated that Thursday’s meeting would further strengthen ties between the Indo-Pacific and NATO states.

The NATO summit declaration also criticized China, labeling it a “decisive enabler” of Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and noting that Beijing continues to pose systemic challenges to Euro-Atlantic security. NATO and the four Indo-Pacific countries are set to launch new joint projects at the summit, focusing on Ukraine, artificial intelligence, disinformation, and cybersecurity.

President Joe Biden, who will host the session on Ukraine, asserted that NATO is “stronger than it’s ever been” and expressed confidence that Ukraine can and will stop Russian leader Putin “with our full, collective support.” Biden, facing increasing domestic challenges, met on Wednesday with new British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Finland’s President Alexander Stubb.

While Biden has been rallying allies and Democratic voters, several high-ranking European officials met with a top foreign policy adviser to Trump during the summit. Trump reiterated on Wednesday that he would not pull the U.S. out of NATO but insisted that members should pay more, saying, “I just want them to pay their bills. We’re protecting Europe. They take advantage of us very badly.” Earlier this year, Trump had pressed congressional Republicans to stall military aid for Ukraine before later reversing course.

Zelenskiy urged U.S. political leaders on Tuesday not to wait for the election outcome before acting decisively to help Ukraine and called for fewer restrictions on the use of U.S. weaponry.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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