NATO weighs plan to provide long-term military help to Ukraine

NATO is debating a plan to provide more predictable military support to Ukraine in coming years as better armed Russian troops assert control on the battlefield, the organisation’s top civilian official said Wednesday.

“We strongly believe that support to Ukraine should be less dependent on short-term, voluntary offers and more dependent on long-term NATO commitments,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said before chairing a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ukraine lowered the military conscription age from 27 to 25 to help replenish its depleted ranks after more than two years of war. A shortage of infantry combined with a severe ammunition shortfall has helped hand Russian troops the initiative. “The reason why we do this is the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine. It is serious,” Stoltenberg told reporters. “We see how Russia is pushing, and we see how they try to win this war by just waiting us out.” The plan is to have NATO coordinate the work of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group — a forum of around 50 countries that has regularly gathered during the war to drum up weapons and ammunition for Ukraine — rather than the US European Command

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