Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren emphasized the importance of funding Ukraine to prevent Moscow from posing a threat to NATO. Speaking at the Warsaw Security Forum, Ollongren addressed concerns about the political in-fighting in Washington and whether the US and its allies can continue supporting Ukraine amidst these challenges. She stressed that waiting for the outcome of the American elections is not a viable option, as Russia with its current regime can still be a potential threat to the NATO alliance. She emphasized the cost-effectiveness of supporting Ukraine to ensure the security of NATO.
Ollongren acknowledged that while NATO has a stake in the conflict in Ukraine, it is Ukraine that is actively fighting the war. She recently visited the US and expressed her concern about the political developments there. Ollongren emphasized the need for Western Europeans to engage in dialogue with their American colleagues and persuade them to maintain support for Ukraine.
The scale of military assistance provided to Ukraine by the US and its allies has surprised not only Ukraine itself but also Russia and NATO. Since the escalation of the conflict with Russia in February 2022, significant amounts of money, weapons, ammunition, and supplies have been channeled to Ukraine. The European Union has sent €85 billion ($89.8 billion) to Ukraine, with more than €25 billion being allocated for military aid. The US, on the other hand, has provided $46.6 billion in military aid, $3.9 billion in humanitarian aid, and $26.4 billion in loans and cash payments to support the Ukrainian government.
It is important to note that Russia has repeatedly expressed its concern over the delivery of heavy weapons and other forms of aid to Ukraine, viewing them as direct involvement in the hostilities. However, Washington and Brussels argue that they are not directly involved in the conflict. Russia, in turn, asserts that foreign weapons will not alter the course of the fighting and that it remains committed to achieving its goals in Ukraine.
Russian officials have cited NATO’s eastward expansion as a root cause of the conflict with Ukraine and the standoff with the West. This expansion has been viewed by Russia as a threat to its security and has fueled tensions in the region.
In conclusion, Defense Minister Ollongren’s remarks at the Warsaw Security Forum emphasized the need for continued support and funding for Ukraine to prevent Moscow from posing a threat to NATO. The significant financial and military assistance provided by the US and its allies demonstrates their commitment to the security of Ukraine and the stability of the region. However, the conflict in Ukraine continues to be a complex and volatile situation, with tensions between Russia and the West remaining high.