NATO to plan long-term Ukraine aid, mulls 100-bln euro fund

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(VOVWORLD) - NATO allies agreed on Wednesday to initiate planning on long-term military support for Ukraine, but a proposal by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to do so via a 100 billion-euro (107 billion USD) five-year fund drew mixed responses.

Ministers said such a fund would not be easy to put together. Ukraine said it would be welcome, but needed to be fresh money.

"We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for the long haul ... less on short-term offers and more on multi-year pledges," said Stoltenberg.

Stoltenberg's proposal would also give the Western alliance a more direct role in coordinating the supply of arms, ammunition and equipment to Ukraine.

Under the plans, NATO would take over some coordination work from a US-led ad-hoc coalition known as the Ramstein group - a move designed in part to guard against any cut in US support. Stoltenberg said the aim was for a decision to be taken at a July summit of NATO member states' leaders.