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Deputy PM: NATO summit to express position on roadmap, irreversibility of Ukraine's membership

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 30, 2024 2:14 PM 2 min read
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna attends the Acting for Survivors event on June 15, 2023. (Eugen Kotenko / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Partners assured Kyiv that the Washington summit would define a specific position for Ukraine's membership in NATO, namely its irreversibility and the roadmap toward it, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said on May 29.

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.

"There are assurances from the allies, in particular, the United States and other countries that directly play a key role in the preparation of the summit, that the summit decisions will include a specific position on Ukraine's membership in NATO, on its irreversibility and the roadmap for such membership," Stefanishyna said on national television.

Kyiv expects that the summit in Washington should become a platform for making strategic decisions on Ukraine's air defense and other relevant consultations at the bilateral level, according to the deputy prime minister.

"We are testing the alliance to see whether NATO can coordinate these efforts to close the Ukrainian sky through bilateral decisions or more comprehensive solutions," Stefanishyna said.

The upcoming event 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 in April.

NATO's July summit in Washington will also contain new language regarding Ukraine's membership in the alliance, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said during a briefing in Prague on May 29.

"It (NATO's declaration) will not look exactly the same as the one we had last year. We have to agree on this. The alliance has some very important and useful ideas, some interesting proposals," Julianne said.

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.

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