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Stoltenberg: NATO invite for Ukraine not to be discussed at Vilnius summit

by Martin Fornusek June 16, 2023 7:42 PM 1 min read
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 3, 2023. (Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images)
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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that an invitation for Ukraine to NATO will not be a topic of the upcoming Vilnius summit in July, in comments at a press conference in Brussels on June 16.

The members will instead consider ways of bringing Ukraine closer to the Alliance, he said at a press conference after the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels.

This will include practical steps, such as bringing Ukraine's military up to NATO standards. It will also encompass setting up a new political consultative body, the NATO-Ukraine Council.

Stoltenberg added that the Allies agree Ukraine will eventually become a NATO member.

Earlier today, Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that NATO allies may be ready to remove some hurdles on Ukraine's path to membership.

Ukraine applied for NATO membership in September 2022, half a year into the full-scale Russian invasion.

According to the Washington Post, there is so far no consensus on Ukraine's NATO membership. While the Baltic nations and the Czech Republic want to speed up Ukraine's accession, big players like France, Germany, and the U.S. are hesitant.

Media: Biden allegedly supports simplified procedure for Ukraine’s NATO accession
U.S. President Joe Biden has supported a proposal by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to announce that Ukraine does not need to implement a “membership action plan” (MAP) to join NATO, Axios reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
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