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Politico: NATO negotiates deliverables for Ukraine ahead of Vilnius summit

by Martin Fornusek June 10, 2023 3:25 AM 2 min read
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the end of a joint press conference in Kyiv, on April 20, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Stoltenberg said on April 20 that Ukraine's potential membership will be "high on the agenda" at the Vilnius meeting scheduled for mid-July. (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)
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NATO is working on a two-part package for Ukraine focusing on practical support and Ukraine's membership bid ahead of the upcoming July summit in Vilnius, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith told Politico on June 9.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is unlikely to receive a NATO membership invitation at the summit. The alliance nevertheless wants to signal Kyiv their long-term commitment and support.

“We want to signal to President Zelenskyy — if he comes in person — we care deeply about having a longer-term relationship with Ukraine and looking for ways to acknowledge, you know, all they’ve accomplished and that our support isn’t going to fade away or that we’re not going to get distracted,” Smith said.

One of the deliverables will involve helping Kyiv's military develop to NATO standards, the other should address the political issue of Ukraine's membership bid.

According to Smith, the members are yet to decide what will constitute this package but there is an "array of options."

Politico wrote on June 8 that NATO diplomats remain divided on "nearly every element" regarding security guarantees for Ukraine.

Many Western leaders are not yet ready to provide a clear pathway to Ukraine's NATO membership, but at the same time, they do not want to leave Ukraine disappointed and vulnerable to further aggression.

Viktoriia Lapa: NATO should stop biding time on Ukrainian membership promise
With the NATO summit in Vilnius in sight, Ukrainians are placing high hopes on the political decisions made and security guarantees granted. In a comment on April 21, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “All NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member.” During meetings wit…

Ukraine's officials have repeatedly appealed to the alliance for a clear pathway toward full membership. President Volodymyr Zelensky said he will not attend the summit without a membership invitation or "some kind of signal."

Eastern and Central European allies voiced support for a clear membership path, while others remain hesitant. Former NATO chief Anders Rasmussen warned on June 8 that some NATO members may consider sending troops to Ukraine if they don't see meaningful security guarantees presented at the summit.

France and Germany favor "stronger, concrete, very clear security guarantees" over discussions on Ukraine's accession. Paris even indicated it is ready to provide such guarantees itself, comparing it to an "Israeli-style" security agreement.

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