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Blinken hopes Washington NATO summit to be 'highly focused' on roadmap for Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova April 3, 2024 12:06 PM 2 min read
U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken delivers a speech at the third Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen held in Kyiv on Sept. 6. (President's Office)
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NATO's July summit in Washington can be "highly focused" on the creation of a roadmap for Ukraine to join the alliance in the future, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on April 2.

Kyiv did not receive the much-desired invitation nor a firm deadline to join the alliance during the 2023 NATO summit in Vilnius, even though NATO took steps to tighten cooperation.

Ukrainian officials have voiced hope that the Washington meeting, scheduled for July 9-11, will bring a more definite signal.

The NATO summit and Ukraine will be discussed in much greater detail during the meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on April 3-4, according to Blinken.

The allies said in Vilnius that Ukraine "will be a member of NATO," Blinken said, adding that the issue at hand is to have a "good and clear" roadmap to reach this conclusion.

"I believe that the NATO summit for the 75th anniversary will indeed be highly focused, and quite concretely, as to how we can establish this roadmap," Blinken said at a press conference with French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne.

"Or to use another image, the bridge – the necessary bridge to allow Ukraine to become a member of NATO."

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said in February she did not expect NATO to offer Ukraine a membership invitation at the upcoming summit in Washington.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance's former secretary general, said that NATO's invitation to Ukraine "would be a controversial and at least an unprecedented decision to take."

Rasmussen nevertheless suggested that this step could serve as "an instrument" to ending Russia's war.

Politico: Allies consider moving Ramstein group under NATO control to shield it from Trump
Washington and its partners are considering moving the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) under NATO control to maintain weapons supplies to Kyiv even if Donald Trump returns to the White House, Politico reported on April 2, citing four undisclosed sources.

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