What else can NATO do for Ukraine?

Ukraine expects that not only individual countries but the Alliance as a whole will help it rebuild its Armed Forces. Credits: NATO

Ukraine expects that not only individual countries but the Alliance as a whole will help it rebuild its Armed Forces. Credits: NATO

Today we publish the second part of our expert survey on NATO military assistance to Ukraine. In the first part, Ukrainian experts answered a question regarding the extent to which the aid currently being received is adequate.

In this part, experts answer two questions:

1. What kinds of assistance does Ukraine currently lack? and

2. Which NATO country-members are the most motivated to supply Ukraine with defence assistance.

Oleksandr Musiienko, Head of the Military Law Research Centre

  • One of the key areas of concern is cyber security. Assistance is needed here. In addition, we need support in issues related to military logistics. NATO is currently focusing attention on this very aspect as part of its Anaconda 2016 exercise in Poland; Ukraine similarly needs training in mobility. We need help training our officers in strategic planning and the planning and conducting of military operations. And, of course, weapons upgrading. Our UAF is ageing and we need assistance here. About a year ago, there was information that NATO would assist us in building some defence industry enterprises, in particular a cartridge factory.
  • Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are the most motivated to support Ukraine. And Turkey has joined them recently. Among NATO members, Italy, France – the countries of Western Europe – have minimum motivation. I would like to draw attention to the fact that the Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden (not a NATO member) and Denmark, are showing especial interest in Ukraine. They demonstrate interest in providing assistance and in the defence complex. The important thing to remember is help comes to those who try, to those who do something.

Yulia Tyshchenko, Expert from the Ukrainian Independent Centre for Political Studies

  • There is insufficient technology and political support, however paradoxical it may be. By political support, I mean individual statements. For example, the statеment of [the former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh] Rasmussen about how the return of Crimea should not be an urgent priority for Ukraine does not generate optimism with regard to NATO and its individual representatives truly understanding the entirety of the Ukrainian situation. And, of course, military cooperation has to be strengthened, especially in intelligence issues.
  • Countries like Lithuania, and Poland more or less, are the most motivated to support Ukraine. There are also statements from Romania and Bulgaria.

Oleksiy Melnyk, Co-director of Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes at the Razumkov Centre

  • If you ask soldiers, then of course they will tell you that they need lethal weapons. But in fact I think that despite the great importance of this type of weaponry, it is necessary to focus on making the best use of the assistance that has already been provided. Moreover, it is necessary to do everything possible to ensure that there are no obstacles [to the provision of aid], including the traditional Ukrainian itchy palm – for example, demanding customs payments for free aid, like it was was with American Humvees that had been given.
  • The most motivated to support Ukraine are the USA, Canada, Poland, the Baltic states (especially Lithuania), the Netherlands and Great Britain. In particular, Estonia provides, of course, less assistance than the USA, but per capita it is more.

Anton Mikhnenko, Editor of Ukrainian Defence Review

  • The main thing is for Ukraine to figure out what to do with the assistance it already has. Right now Ukraine need weapons supplies. In most cases the UAF has armaments of Soviet manufacture and that is why we need communications equipment, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons and more advanced UAVs. But the main thing is that we need experience in how to act as military units in conditions of confronting the cyber threat. We need to be able to combat hybrid threats coming from the RF (not only on the military plane but also on the political and economic fronts).
  • As far as those maximally motivated to help Ukraine, these are Lithuania, Poland, Great Britain, the USA and Canada. These countries will help Ukraine to the very end and try to support the country. In principle one can also name Romania, the Czech Republic and Turkey, with certain nuances.

Roman Vovk, Deputy Director, International Security and Partnership Centre

  • Ukraine does not have enough help in the sphere of electronic warfare. There is no support in creating high-end Ukrainian drones capable of doing reconnaissance work as well as participating in military operations.
  • The Baltic countries are the ones most motivated to support Ukraine. This is because they are the least protected. In particular, on the eve of the NATO summit in Warsaw, Russian special services intensified their activities [in the Baltics].

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