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NATO allies pledge Ukraine support as US reveals aid package

Published July 11, 2024last updated July 12, 2024

Ukraine is set to receive a further $225 million in US military aid after Joe Biden met with Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the final day of a NATO summit in Washington. DW has the latest.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shakes the hand of US President Joe Biden during a meeting on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Washington
NATO leaders announced further military support for Ukraine's efforts to repel the Russian invasionImage: Susan Walsh/AP Photo/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to Ukraine's defense, announcing a new military aid package worth $225 million
  • Both Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed their long-term commitment to Ukraine
  • NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg praised the United States' plan to deploy missiles in Germany
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aired concerns over a 'direct confrontation' between Russia and NATO

This blog has now closed. Please visit our page to know more about the 2024 NATO summitthat has now come to a close.

Skip next section UK PM Starmer calls on NATO allies to bolster defense spending
July 12, 2024

UK PM Starmer calls on NATO allies to bolster defense spending

New British Prime Minister Keir Starmer on Thursday urged other NATO allies to do more to increase their defense spending, saying that it was needed to protect the alliance's values in "a new and dangerous era".

Starmer's address at the NATO summit marked his first foray on the world stage since being elected as UK's Prime Minister last week. 

He pointed out that 23 members out of the 32 in the alliance were now spending 2% of GDP on defense, "but in light of the grave threats to our security, we must go further".

The Labour Party leader reiterated that his government would come up with a plan to reach 2.5% of GDP on defense spending. Starmer is yet to set out a timeline for it. 

"We face the generational threat of Russia, aided by the likes of North Korea and Iran. Conflicts rage across the Middle East and North Africa, the challenge of China, terrorism and international institutions, that should be at the heart of the response are being undermined," he said. 

Skip next section Scholz 'confident' France can solve election stalemate and remain at the heart of NATO
July 12, 2024

Scholz 'confident' France can solve election stalemate and remain at the heart of NATO

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Thursday that France remained a key partner as embattled French President Emmanuel Macron struggles to build a coalition government after nationwide elections earlier this month.

No single force won outright in the second round of legislative elections in France, although a left-wing alliance — the New Popular Front (NFP) — won the most seats, with 193 in the 577-strong National Assembly.

"France will be on the international agenda a big partner, a strong partner of all of us, and especially a partner for Germany," Scholz said at the NATO summit.

Scholz (SDP) said he was "delighted" that the far-right National Rally (RN) led by Marine Le Pen had been denied a majority, adding "it's now the task of the politicians to find a solution and to make something out of it. I'm quite confident that they will in the end."

The stalemate in France has led to questions being raised over whether Macron and France can continue to play a central role in NATO, as well as the European Union.

But Scholz said "France has a strong president who is acting in the international scene. I had yesterday a very good exchange with my friend Emmanuel Macron, so I'm not wondering what will happen."

'President Macron is doing France a lot of harm'

Skip next section South Korea, NATO finalize aviation certification
July 12, 2024

South Korea, NATO finalize aviation certification

South Korea and NATO have inked an airworthiness certification for South Korean-built military aircraft, South Korea's presidential office said.

The statement came after President Yoon Suk Yeol met with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday.

Yoon welcomed the certification, which he said would ensure "mutual military compatibility."

On Thursday, South Korea also signed with the US an integrated nuclear deterrence for the Korean peninsula on the sidelines of the NATO summit. 

The guideline, authorized by the leaders of the two nations, formalizes the deployment of US nuclear assets on and around the Korean peninsula to deter and respond to potential nuclear attacks by North Korea, Yoon's deputy national security adviser Kim Tae-hyo told the media in Washington.

"It means US nuclear weapons are specifically being assigned to missions on the Korean Peninsula," Kim said.

Earlier in the day, US President Joe Biden and Yoon issued a joint statement that reaffirmed close coordination against Pyongyang's nuclear threat.

"The Presidents reaffirmed their commitments in the US-ROK Washington Declaration and highlighted that any nuclear attack by the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) against the ROK (Republic of Korea) will be met with a swift, overwhelming and decisive response," the statement said.

Skip next section Macron says France will support Ukraine 'for as long as necessary'
July 12, 2024

Macron says France will support Ukraine 'for as long as necessary'

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that he has reassured allies at the NATO summit in Washington about his country's continued international commitment toward the alliance and Ukraine. 

France will continue to support Ukraine "as long as necessary," Macron told reporters. 

On being asked about Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's recent visits to Russia and China, Macron said it was legitimate for the Hungarian leader to visit the countries but that he not acting on behalf of the European Union.

French far-right victory could impact EU, NATO

Skip next section Biden 'will not walk away from Ukraine' to close out summit
July 12, 2024

Biden 'will not walk away from Ukraine' to close out summit

NATO leaders pledged support for Ukraine as they wrapped up a three-day summit in Washington.

The 32-nation alliance used the summit to showcase its resolve against Russia, two and half years into the Kremlin's invasion of its neighbor. 

"I will not walk away from Ukraine. I will keep NATO strong," US President Joe Biden said in his closing comments at the end of the summit. "That's exactly what we did, and exactly what we'll continue to do now."

Biden compared his commitment to NATO to comments from his predecessor Donald Trump, who "made it clear he has no commitment to NATO. He's made it clear that he would feel no obligation to honor Article 5," Biden said, referring to the alliance's commitment to common defense.

The US president met with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy along with other NATO leaders on the third, and final, day of the gathering after pledging fresh air defenses to help protect the war-torn country.

You can read more on Biden and address here.

Heusgen: 'I think Putin is laughing about us'

Skip next section US announces new $225 million Ukraine military aid package
July 11, 2024

US announces new $225 million Ukraine military aid package

The United States will provide Ukraine with an additional $225 million (€207 million) worth of military aid, including Patriot and NASAMS air defense systems, HIMARS rocket launchers, and 155mm and 105mm artillery shells.

The US government made the announcement shortly after a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington, where Western allies had already pledged a joint $40 billion in aid for Kyiv.

According to the Pentagon, US military aid to Ukraine since Russia's full-scale invasion amounts to over $53 billion.

The latest tranche of weapons comes directly from US stocks.

Skip next section NATO's Stoltenberg praises US deployment of missiles to Germany
July 11, 2024

NATO's Stoltenberg praises US deployment of missiles to Germany

President Joe Biden, left, speaks with Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg
From 2026, deployments of Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of well over 2,000 kilometres, SM-6 anti-aircraft missiles and newly developed supersonic weapons are to provide better protection for NATO allies in EuropeImage: Susan Walsh/AP Photo/picture alliance

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday told reporters the deployment of US long-range missiles to Germany demonstrates Washington's commitment to the alliance and European security.

The decision announced yesterday to periodically station long-range United States missiles in Germany as a deterrent to Russia has been greeted with both support and criticism.

The deployment, condemned by Moscow as a "very serious threat" to Russian national security, is seen as a stop-gap solution until Europe has its own long-range missiles ready.

The Kremlin also said the decision to station US missiles in Germany was pushing Russia and the West towards a Cold War-style confrontation.

Defending the decision, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters at a NATO summit in Washington it is "something of deterrence and it's securing peace, and it is a necessary and important decision at the right time."

Skip next section Zelenskyy urges NATO to drop limits on Kyiv striking Russia
July 11, 2024

Zelenskyy urges NATO to drop limits on Kyiv striking Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged members of the NATO alliance to drop all limits on Kyiv striking long-range targets in Russia.

"If we want to win, if we want to prevail, if we want to save our country and to defend it, we need to lift all the limitations," he said.

Speaking from the NATO summit in Washington on Thursday, Zelenskyy called on Kyiv's allies to preserve their unity. He added that Ukraine expected the newly-announced supplies of air defenses to be delivered to it as soon as possible.

Zelenskyy continued to advocate for his country's NATO membership, saying it would be "a success for both Ukraine and the alliance."

"We are very close to our goal," he said, in reference to the membership, adding that the next step would be an invitation followed by eventual membership.

Skip next section Ukraine and Romania sign defense partnership agreement
July 11, 2024

Ukraine and Romania sign defense partnership agreement

The Ukrainian presidential office says the country has signed a security agreement with Romania.

The deal was signed as NATO allies welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to their summit in Washington. 

It brings the total number of long-term bilateral defense agreements Kyiv has signed with partners including Britain, Germany, France, and the US, to 23. 

While the documents have similar frameworks, they are all different.

"A special feature of this agreement is specific points of cooperation to strengthen security in the Black Sea region,"  a Ukrainian statement said.

Romania will help with mine clearance in the Black Sea, it added. The deal also covers Romania's contribution to training Ukrainian pilots for F-16 jets.

Skip next section Romania, Bulgaria and Greece ink deal on military movements
July 11, 2024

Romania, Bulgaria and Greece ink deal on military movements

Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece have signed a deal to allow rapid movement of troops and weapons on the eastern flank of the NATO military alliance.

NATO says too much red tape is slowing troop movements across Europe.

The agreement aims "to optimize transport corridors to respond to military mobility needs by creating road and rail supply lines between the participating states,"  the ministry said.

It added that this would reduce bureaucracy and maximize efficiency in case of emergency situations.

Romania's defense ministry said the three states could also connect their ports in the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea. Romania and Bulgaria are already involved in a joint initiative with Turkey to defuse stray mines in the Black Sea. 

Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine has added urgency to NATO and European Union preparations including the ability to quickly deploy reinforcements, in the event of a sudden conflict with Moscow. 

Skip next section Scholz says US missile plan fits perfectly with Berlin's strategy
July 11, 2024

Scholz says US missile plan fits perfectly with Berlin's strategy

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has welcomed the US plan to deploy long-range missiles in his country, saying it fits into Germany's own deterrence strategy.

The United States and Germany announced on Wednesday that they would begin deploying long-range fire capabilities in Germany in 2026.

They said the "episodic deployments" were in preparation for longer-term stationing that would include SM-6, Tomahawk cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons with a longer range than current capabilities in Europe.

The German chancellor said the deployment decision was "a necessary and important decision at the right time."

"This decision has been a long time in the making and comes as no real surprise to anyone involved in security and peace policy," Scholz told reporters at the NATO summit in Washington. "After all, it fits in perfectly with the German government's security strategy."

Germany agrees to host long-range missiles: DW's Michaela Küfner

Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov portrayed the move as being designed to intimidate Russia.

"The necessary work on the preparation of balancing countermeasures by the relevant Russian state agencies was started well in advance and is being carried out on a systematic basis," Ryabkov said in a statement on his ministry's website.

Skip next section Possibility of 'direct confrontation' between Russia and NATO 'worrying,' Erdogan says
July 11, 2024

Possibility of 'direct confrontation' between Russia and NATO 'worrying,' Erdogan says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday expressed concern about a possible direct confrontation involving NATO and Russia, Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported.

"The possibility of a direct conflict between NATO and Russia is undoubtedly worrying," said Erdogan, who is in Washington for a NATO summit. "Any steps that could lead to this outcome should be consciously avoided."

Erdogan's comments came as Russia's Foreign Ministry said it was planning "response measures" to contain the "very serious threat" from the alliance.

The United States and Germany announced on Wednesday that they would begin deploying long-range fire capabilities in Germany in 2026 to demonstrate commitment to NATO and European defense.

Skip next section Russia says response 'will be determined' on US missiles in Germany
July 11, 2024

Russia says response 'will be determined' on US missiles in Germany

Russia's Foreign Ministry is planning its response after it was announced the United States would deploy long-range missiles in Germany, according to Russian media.

"The nature of our response will be determined calmly and professionally. The military, without a doubt, has already taken this message into consideration," Russian state news agency RIA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

"We will, of course, analyze what specific systems are being discussed," Ryabkov said.

In a statement issued on the sidelines of the NATO summit on Wednesday, the US and Germany said that "episodic deployments" are in preparation for longer-term stationing of such capabilities.

This would include SM-6, Tomahawk and developmental hypersonic weapons with longer range than the current capabilities in Europe.

"These actions are aimed primarily at damaging the security of our country, regardless of whether the chances of some future arms control negotiations will increase as a result or whether they will come to naught and go into the negative," RIA quoted Ryabkov as saying.

Skip next section NATO and Ukraine: 'The stronger the signal these days, the better," foreign relations expert tells DW
July 11, 2024

NATO and Ukraine: 'The stronger the signal these days, the better," foreign relations expert tells DW

Gustav Gressel, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), told DW that Russia's summer offensive in Ukraine was still in full swing and that Ukraine's military ranks were stretched thin.

"Ukraine has battled the Russian offensive quite well so far," Gressel said. "By autumn, of course, the tide could stall, but Western assistance is good for the end of the year, or into the spring."

There was a question of where things could stand in terms of future international assistance considering the US presidential elections in November. Likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has implied he might cut funding for Ukraine, and Republican Party lawmakers earlier this year held up a bill to provide aid to Ukraine for weeks

On the topic of a timeline for Ukraine joining NATO, or lack thereof, Gressel said being in a state of war made any timeline quite difficult to predict.

"A political invitation with a clause that if conditions are met would be, of course, a stronger signal, but, in practice, Ukraine knows that as long the war is ongoing in the current phase, NATO membership is pretty difficult to achieve," Gressel said.

He added that Ukraine was determining its own path by not becoming a Russian satellite.

"Ukraine fights for its independence and Ukraine fights for its sovereignty. Ukraine had tried to choose a different path than a Russia satellite for decades," Gressel said, adding that NATO membership was being seen as a long-term "security guarantee that they will not be ever again a Russian satellite." 

Gressel said many Ukrainians were willing to die for such a guarantee: "They don't die for any particular president or for a political party. They die for their kids growing up in a country that has chosen the path of independence."

"Hence I think, the stronger the signal these days, the better," Gressel said.

Why Russia's offensive in Ukraine may have stalled

Skip next section Final day of NATO summit in Washington
July 11, 2024

Final day of NATO summit in Washington

NATO leaders are meeting for a third and final day in Washington, with more talks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expected.

On Wednesday, the alliance's 32 member states pledged to spend $40 billion ($43 billion) in the next year and declared that Ukraine's path to NATO membership was "irreversible." 

The commitment put forth was less, however, than the multi-year plan proposed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The alliance's leaders will turn their attention east and discuss common security interests with Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian on Wednesday accused NATO of "acting beyond its characterization as a regional defensive alliance, inserting itself into the Asia-Pacific to incite confrontation and rivalry."

Ukraine on 'irreversible' path to joining NATO

kb/sms (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)