NATO allies on Wednesday were hesitant to back an idea put forward by Poland’s deputy prime minister for the military alliance to send an armed “peace mission” into Ukraine.
Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski made the suggestion Tuesday after speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He suggested NATO should send a “peace mission” into Ukraine to deliver humanitarian aid that “will be able to defend itself.”
Whether or not the mission is done in the name of peace, Russia would presumably view the deployment of NATO troops into Ukraine as the alliance entering the war. When asked about Kaczynski’s plan, NATO defense ministers didn’t outright dismiss the idea but wouldn’t back it either.
British Defense Minister said Ben Wallace said he would need to “look at the details first before making any decisions about what happens.”
Estonian Defense Minister Kalle Laanet said the proposed deployment was “one of the possibilities and, of course, we have to look to all the possibilities which can help Ukraine.”
Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren sounded more opposed to the plan and said it would have to happen after the war was over. “I’m afraid we’re still in too early stages to talk about that,” Ollongren said. “First we have to have a ceasefire. We have to see a withdrawal from Russia. There has to be some kind of agreement between Ukraine and Russia, and I think the talks are still going on.”
So far, NATO is not planning to enter Ukraine to fight Russia directly, although there is growing support for the alliance to impose a no-fly zone, which would require NATO planes to shoot down Russian ones and bomb missile systems inside Russia. On Monday, Estonia’s parliament released a statement calling for a no-fly zone, making the Baltic country the first NATO state to have an official body call for a direct war with Russia.