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Media: NATO unlikely to offer Ukraine swift membership, considers 'upgraded relationship' instead

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 26, 2023 2:44 PM 2 min read
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) and President Volodymyr Zelensky speak at a news conference in Kyiv on April 20, 2023. (Photo: Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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NATO members are unlikely to provide a swift membership plan to Ukraine, instead considering an “upgraded relationship format,” Euroactiv wrote on May 26, citing unnamed sources in NATO.

This new plan would involve setting up a “NATO-Ukraine Council” and opening new paths of cooperation, according to the report.

Currently, the parties meet at the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which serves as a forum for consultation and developing cooperation.

The “upgraded” council format would ensure that Ukraine has a permanent seat at the table and can initiate the meetings when they wish.

This new system could improve intelligence sharing and help coordinate joint exercises, investment in the defense industry, and cooperability between NATO militaries and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

NATO’s foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Oslo on May 31, and Vilnius will host an Alliance summit in July. The NATO-Ukraine relationship is expected to be high on the agenda.

Ukraine officially applied for NATO membership on Sept. 30, 2022, gathering support from many Central and Eastern European members.

While NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that "Ukraine's rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family," he added that the victory in the war with Russia is a starting point for the membership process.

The big players of the Alliance, such as the U.S., France, and Germany, remain hesitant in regard to the swift accession pathway. Instead, the “upgraded relationship” plan is gaining traction as an alternative, Euroactiv reported.

Stoltenberg says ‘Ukraine will join NATO,’ vows support despite Russia’s ‘reckless nuclear rhetoric’
Brussels – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg vowed on April 3 that the alliance would continue supporting Ukraine despite Russia’s “dangerous and reckless nuclear rhetoric.” He added that Kyiv can win the war and become a full-fledged NATO member one day. Responding to the Kyiv Independent a…
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