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ISW: Vilnius NATO summit demonstrates how Russia's claimed war goals have failed, but Russian response remains muted

by Dinara Khalilova July 13, 2023 9:48 AM 3 min read
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni attend G7 Declaration of Joint Support for Ukraine during NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 12, 2023. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The Vilnius NATO summit demonstrated the extent to which Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has impeded the goals for which the Kremlin says it launched the war, such as to prevent NATO expansion, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on July 12.

However, Russian information space has shown muted response to developments at the NATO summit, which "likely indicates that the Kremlin has internalized these defeats and desires to avoid dwelling on them," the ISW said in its latest update.

"Many Russian sources are reporting on the NATO summit in a dispassionate and muted manner that is not commensurate with the wider defeat that the summit actually represents for Russia's pre-war aims," reads the update.

Moscow has repeatedly claimed that its war against Ukraine aims to push back NATO from Russian borders, calling potential NATO enlargement an alleged threat to Russia's security.

Ukraine war latest: G7 agrees on long-term security commitment for Ukraine
Key developments on July 12: * G7 unveils plan to deter future Russian aggression against Ukraine * Zelensky meets Biden, NATO leaders on sideline of NATO summit * NATO allies pledge new military package for Ukraine * Russian attacks wounds 18, including 6 children, in Zaporizhzhia The Group o…

At the Vilnius summit on July 11-12, NATO allies agreed to remove the Membership Action Plan (MAP) from Ukraine's path toward membership, simplifying the process. However, the alliance didn't give Kyiv a much-desired invitation.

NATO also adopted a three-part support package for Ukraine and reaffirmed that the country would definitely join the alliance. Some allies announced new military aid, and the Group of Seven presented plans for long-term security commitments to Ukraine.

"Very importantly, during these two days of the summit, we have put to rest any doubts and ambiguities about whether Ukraine will be in NATO. It will! For the first time, not only do all allies agree on this, but a significant majority in the alliance is vigorously pushing for it," President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on July 12.

"Previously, Russia's rulers wanted to have their own fence in front of NATO's door. We have left this Russian ambition on the margins of European history – behind the fence of our unity in Europe and, more broadly, in the free world," added Zelensky.

Former NATO envoy to Moscow: ‘Potential escalation with Russia is a myth’
The West failed to understand the Russian regime before the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Robert Pszczel, the former NATO envoy to Moscow from 2010-2015, said on the sidelines of the Warsaw International Summit in Kyiv on July 7. Once the punching bag of Russian propagandists during his appearances on…
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