| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

NATO allies wary on call for Ukraine ‘peace mission’

Despite warnings from Moscow, NATO allies refused to support a Polish request for the alliance to send an armed peacekeeping mission to Ukraine on Wednesday.

During a visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, Poland’s Vice Premier, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, urged a peacekeeping deployment in Ukraine to offer humanitarian supplies.

However, as NATO military ministers convened in Brussels for urgent meetings on Russia’s war against its neighbor, they were skeptical of the proposal.

“I’m afraid we’re still too early in the process to discuss it,” Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren remarked.

“First and foremost, we must have a cease-fire. A disengagement from Russia is required. Ukraine and Russia must reach some sort of arrangement, and I believe the conversations are still ongoing.”

“It’s always important to think about what follows after that,” she continued, “but first and foremost, we need to achieve it.”

A planned peacekeeping operation, according to Estonian Defense Minister Kalle Laanet, is “one of the possibilities,” and “of course, we have to look at all the possibilities that can help Ukraine.”

However, he stated that a deployment would require the approval of the UN Security Council, where Russia has a veto.

Ben Wallace, the British defense minister, said he’d have to “look at the details first before making any choices about what occurs.”

Ukraine has pleaded for NATO to participate in the crisis, including the imposition of a no-fly zone to assist stop Russian bombardment.

The US-led coalition claims that its direct participation in Ukraine, a non-member state, risks escalating into a nuclear conflict with Russia.

Instead, NATO partners have sent weapons to assist Ukrainian military in defending their country, including much-needed portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems.

Any deliveries, Moscow has warned, are valid targets for its military to hit.

NATO defense ministers insisted, though, that arms will continue to come to Ukraine.

“We support their ability to protect themselves and will continue to do so in the future,” said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

  • AFP