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NATO allies fed up with Berlin opposing name of new Ukraine mission

NATO allies fed up with Berlin opposing name of new Ukraine mission

Brussels, June 7 (IANS/DPA) Germany is against referring to a new NATO project aimed at supporting Ukraine as a "mission," arguing that this could send the wrong signal to Russia, in fretting that has sparked irritation among allies, sources say.

NATO allies are planning to launch a new project in support of Kyiv, dubbed NATO Mission Ukraine, at their next summit in Washington.


So far, NATO member states have been coordinating military aid not through NATO itself but through the US-led Ukraine Contact Group. NATO's position is that it is not a party to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

But the contact group's reliance on US coordination has European allies worried that it could falter if November's presidential election returns Donald Trump to the White House because they doubt his willingness to support Ukraine's war effort.

One of the upcoming summit's aims is to transfer the responsibilities previously held by the Ukraine Contact Group to the alliance itself.

However, Berlin's rejection of the proposed name appears to be delaying that plan, with diplomats telling dpa that almost all NATO allies consider Berlin's refusal of the use of the word "mission" in the name unnecessary consideration for Russia.

The German government is reportedly concerned that designating the project a mission could be understood as NATO planning to send troops to Ukraine, citing fears that that could fuel Russian propaganda.

Supporters of the name argue that the Kremlin would consider the launch of the new project as an aggression directed against it regardless of the name. Russian leaders will use it to disseminate disinformation either way, they say.

For most allies, the lone German resistance to the name was therefore incomprehensible - particularly since the project itself had Berlin's full backing, the sources said.

According to dpa information, the German government has proposed to name the new mission Pledge Assistance Coordination Training - or PACT - in order to clarify that the new mission was aimed at coordinating military support and training efforts for Ukrainian forces.

However, it is considered unlikely that this proposal will be adopted due to the tough stance of other member states.

NATO member states have to agree on the name mutually.

The German Foreign Office declined to comment on the spat, saying it was unable to give information on confidential negotiations.

Source: IANS

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NATO allies fed up with Berlin opposing name of new Ukraine mission

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