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Why NATO's Bid to Take Control of Ukraine Defense Group Looks Unfeasible

© AFP 2023 / ARIS OIKONOMOUA NATO Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft. File photo
A NATO Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.04.2024
The group was formed in early 2022 to shore up Ukraine militarily but is already showing signs of collapsing. Is latest meeting in late January wrapped up without the approval of any US funding to Ukraine.
NATO is looking to assume control of the US-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) that coordinates the shipment of weapons to the Kiev regime, Politico has reported citing unnamed sources.
The issue will reportedly be discussed during the NATO foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, and is expected to be finalized at the NATO leaders’ summit in Washington in July.
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Transferring the UDCG to NATO may present challenges due to various factors, including the differences in opinions and capabilities between the US and the allies regarding financial and military supplies to Ukraine, as well as internal crises that inevitably affect foreign policy.

Cessation of US Funding for Ukraine

In December, the US Department of Defense signaled that it would be unable to send any additional weapons from its stockpiles to Kiev until Congress appropriated additional funds. Although the Senate passed a $95 billion supplemental package, including additional funds for Ukraine, the legislation has been stalled in the House for months.
Secondly, with Joe Biden’s approval ratings plummeting, there’s a scenario of the possible reelection in early November of former President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly berated NATO members for failing to meet their financial obligations to the alliance.

According to the New York Times, there is "enormous uncertainty and anxiety" throughout Europe and among "American supporters of the country’s traditional foreign policy role" that, if reelected, Trump may withdraw the US from NATO.

Disagreements Within NATO

Another factor that may complicate NATO's control of the body is the current situation of some NATO members, such as Hungary, opposing providing Ukraine with weapons.
On top of that, there are reportedly those in the West who have been wary of any steps that would imply NATO’s direct role in the Ukraine conflict. Moscow has repeatedly warned that the US and its NATO allies’ military aid to Kiev makes the alliance a side to the standoff.
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Elections Impacting EU Policies

Last but not least, the upcoming 2024 European Parliament elections may see "a major shift to the right-wing populist parties in many countries," according to the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Such a scenario is "likely to have significant consequences for European-level policies" and "will affect the foreign policy choices that the EU can make," not least those pertaining to Ukraine, the council pointed out.

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