NATO Ministers Expand Ukraine Aid

Brussels NATO will expand non-lethal assistance to Ukraine and improve assistance in areas such as command and control and capacity building, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters following a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission on June 25. The Alliance vowed to expand assistance in several key areas, including improving information sharing to build up Ukrainian regional airspace security, secure communications, and improving work on de-mining and countering improvised explosive devices. Stoltenberg emphasized the importance of airspace security in Ukraine, especially in areas considered “unstable.” NATO will share air traffic data gathered in several alliance countries, such as Norway and Poland, and help provide a better common air picture of what is happening in the country (last summer, a Malaysian airliner was brought down by an errant surface-to-air missile). Prior to the announcement, a senior NATO official told reporters on background the practical support will include assistance from the Alliance in non-lethal areas, such as command and control, cyber capabilities, logistics, sustainment, and medical care. Several NATO allies also are increasing bilateral aid to provide key equipment, such as night vision goggles. (See also Stoltenberg Welcomes VJTF Enablers from US.)