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NATO summit communique to describe Ukraine's path to alliance as 'irreversible,' CNN reports

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 9, 2024 11:13 AM 2 min read
Flags of Ukraine and NATO are seen before a press conference of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky following their negotiations in Kyiv, Ukraine on 29 April, 2024. (STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's path to joining NATO will be defined as "irreversible" in a draft text of the alliance's joint communique at the summit in Washington, CNN reported on July 8, citing three undisclosed sources.

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.

Ukraine has voiced hope that NATO's summit scheduled on July 9–11 will bring a more definite signal about its future membership in the alliance. American officials made it clear that the country is unlikely to receive an invitation during the conference.

Partners assured Kyiv that the event would define a specific position for Ukraine's membership in the alliance, namely its irreversibility and the roadmap toward it, Olha Stefanishyna, the deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, said in late May.

CNN reported that the question of how strong guarantees Ukraine should receive has become a key source of debate inside the alliance.

The final version of the document may contain changes, CNN wrote, but the presence of the "irreversible" Ukraine's accession to NATO would be "a significant signal to Kyiv and Moscow."

The White House supports this wording, as long as the document also confirms that Ukraine should continue to work on democratic reforms, an unnamed U.S. official told the news channel.

U.S. and German officials suggested that the communique should describe a "bridge" to NATO membership for Ukraine, while many European NATO members stressed the need for strong language regarding Kyiv's prospects, according to CNN.

An unnamed U.S. senior administration official said that the alliance would make "significant new announcements about how we're increasing NATO's military, political, and financial support for Ukraine."

This should include "positive news" on Ukraine's request for seven additional Patriot air defense systems, said Julianna Smith, the U.S. ambassador to NATO.

In mid-June, Kyiv and Washington signed a 10-year bilateral security deal at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy, recognized as a "bridge to Ukraine's eventual membership in NATO."

President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has repeatedly called on partners to issue a membership invitation to Kyiv, said that Ukraine will join NATO only after Russia's full-scale war ends, echoing the words of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Opinion: NATO at 75 is whistling past the graveyard
Europe is in the midst of the largest war on the continent since NATO was founded in 1949. Russian President Vladimir Putin is attacking Ukraine with conventional forces and engaging in hybrid attacks against NATO itself. The allies know that if Russia is not defeated in Ukraine, it is highly

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