All the Weapons Ukraine Will Get After the NATO Summit

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Over the course of NATO’s annual summit, Volodmyr Zelensky’s disappointment has been palpable. The Ukrainian leader arrived at the two-day gathering in Vilnius, Lithuania, this week in the hopes (far-fetched though they might have been) that the military alliance might finally put forward a timeline—if not a formal invitation—for Ukrainian membership.

Instead, Zelensky was met with warm words from allies, who expressed their view that while Ukraine’s future is in NATO, it is not yet ready for accession—at least not as long as the war is underway. As a consolation, Kyiv has been offered an eventual invitation (“when Allies agree and conditions are met,” that is), a beefed-up political partnership in the form of a new NATO-Ukraine Council, and the easing of certain reform requirements aimed at simplifying Ukraine’s path toward membership.

“We understand that some are afraid of talking about our membership now because nobody is willing to have a world war, which is logical,” Zelensky told the press on Wednesday alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. He added that while a direct invitation to join the alliance would have been “optimum,” the signals of support for Kyiv’s eventual place in NATO are nonetheless “important.” The Ukrainian leader had struck a much less conciliatory tone only the day before, when in a tweet he said that he had “faith” in NATO but not “confidence” in the defense alliance.

But Ukraine will hardly be leaving the summit empty-handed. Over the course of the summit, Kyiv’s NATO allies have announced a series of new commitments to Kyiv, from new military packages to other long-term security commitments.

Below, everything you need to know about what Ukraine has secured from its allies.

Longer range missiles

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday that Paris will begin supplying Ukraine with an unspecified number of long-range cruise missiles. These SCALP, or Storm Shadow, missiles have an approximate range of 155 miles, making them the longest of any Western weapon supplied to Kyiv so far, according to Le Monde. The Storm Shadow missiles would make Kyiv capable of reaching targets well behind the front lines of the war, including deeper into parts of the country’s Russian-occupied eastern regions.

Macron confirmed in his remarks that these missiles would only be used by Kyiv in a defensive capacity within its own sovereign territory. The Kremlin issued an unsurprising rebuke on Macron’s announcement, calling the move “an erroneous decision” that would be met with countermeasures.

The French decision comes two months after Britain announced that it would begin supplying Kyiv with Storm Shadow missiles.

Tanks, combat vehicles, and drones, plus anti-drone and anti-mine systems

On Tuesday, the British government pledged that it would also be providing its own package of weapons, including more than 70 combat and logistic vehicles, thousands of rounds of Challenger 2 tank ammunition, and a new £50 million ($64.5 million) support package for equipment repair. In addition to the weapons package, Britain will also launch a new medical rehabilitation center to support the recovery of Ukrainian soldiers injured in combat, which will be funded through NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine and supported by specialists from across the alliance.

Germany announced its own €700 million ($770 million) package for Ukraine, including dozens of battle tanks, anti-drone and anti-mine systems, as well as 20,000 rounds of artillery ammunition. Norway, meanwhile, announced an additional 2.5 billion kroner ($240 million) aid package to Ukraine, including ultra-light drones and components for air defense missile systems.

Fighter jet training for Ukrainian soldiers

Eleven NATO countries—led by Denmark and the Netherlands, and including Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Britain—have now committed to training Ukrainian pilots to fly American F-16 fighter jets, which Stoltenberg said could begin as early as this summer. This comes months after Zelensky began appealing to the U.S. and others to supply Ukraine with modern fighter jets—calls that were largely rebuffed until May, when the Biden Administration announced that it would allow its allies to send the jets to Kyiv and backed an international plan to train Ukrainian pilots on how to operate them. The Economist reports that the first batch of F-16s could arrive in Ukraine as early as late September.

Whether Kyiv ultimately gets F-16s will ultimately depend on the U.S., since Washington must approve all re-exports of the American-made jet. The news of this training was previewed in May, when the Biden administration announced that it would back an international plan to train Ukrainian pilots on how to operate the jets.

A new, long-term security framework

The U.K. and its fellow G7 members are expected to ratify a wide-ranging security pact on Wednesday, which will include defense equipment, increased and accelerated intelligence sharing, and further training programs and military exercises.

“As Ukraine makes strategic progress in their counteroffensive, and the degradation of Russian forces begins to infect Putin’s front line, we are stepping up our formal arrangements to protect Ukraine for the long term,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said of the new framework, details of which are expected to be announced later today.

Ivo Daalder, the former U.S. ambassador to NATO, tells TIME that these kinds of long-term commitments “provides Ukraine with a guaranteed pipeline of critical military support: weapons, ammunition, training, intelligence.

Source: https://time.com/6293980/military-hardware-nato-summit/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=editorial&utm_term=world_diplomacy&linkId=224630272

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