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January 27
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NATO countries are considering using the remaining money from a money bank previously used to support Afghan security forces to support Ukraine in the coming weeks, Politico writes, citing Western officials.

Money from the Afghan National Army Trust Fund, was used to equip and train troops. Kyiv has asked NATO countries to consider reallocating part of the $3.4 billion to support its efforts to fight Russia, two Western officials said.

The push to reallocate Afghan funds is largely uncontroversial within the alliance, but comes as individual countries face growing domestic tensions over how much funding to give Ukraine, especially as high inflation and rising energy prices, especially in Europe, raise fears of an impending recession.

Money from the Afghan trust fund could be a temporary measure - at least in the short term. It could also help ease tensions within the alliance at a crucial time of war - at a time when NATO unity is key.

NATO representatives have been discussing the possibility of using Afghan funds for Ukraine for more than a month, including during a meeting in Brussels in October. The fund has been frozen, and the alliance has been working on a mechanism to transfer the money back to individual countries or move it elsewhere, but each donor country decides how to use the money. Some NATO countries are considering using some or all of the money for Ukraine.

But donations to Ukraine over the past 10 months have burdened the defense budgets of some smaller countries. And while the European Union has promised to reimburse individual countries for their donations, the plan has caused discontent among some major donors, such as Poland, that the funds are insufficient to cover their growing costs.

The U.S. is not a participant in the Afghan National Army Trust Fund. But senior Biden administration officials have urged their European allies to continue helping fund Ukraine's operations despite growing financial tensions.

NATO spokesman Daniele Riggio said the process of returning money to donor countries has begun, but did not directly answer questions about the alliance's use of Afghan funds to support Ukraine.

The Afghan National Army Trust Fund is one of a number of such efforts to help Afghanistan, which has been frozen, closed or repurposed since the fall of Kabul.

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