Adding to the long list of things NATO has announced at its two-day summit intended to spite Russia, the alliance has unveiled a plan to create a new trust fund for significant military aid to the Ukrainian military. Officials insist that so far there won’t be any funding on arms themselves, but simply on non-lethal aid intended to shift the civil war more in their favor.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak was critical of the announcement, however, saying Ukraine vitally needs “lethal weapons” to prepare for a potential war with Russia, which Ukrainian officials continue to insist is imminent.
Several NATO nations have pushed to send arms directly to the Ukrainian military, though there has been no alliance-wide decision to do so. Canadian officials claimed to have recently taken an inventory of their weapons to see what Ukraine could use, but decided they didn’t have any weapons that would really change the war.
Even non-lethal aid is controversial right now, because there remains a ceasefire in Ukraine and a hope for a political settlement of the eastern civil war. There is considerable concern that if NATO starts throwing too much additional gear at the Poroshenko government it will convince them to abandon the ceasefire once again and try for a military victory.