NATO will not issue a formal invitation for Ukraine to join the alliance at the upcoming Vilnius summit in July, according to official sources interviewed by The Washington Post.
Baltic nations and the Czech Republic support concrete steps defining the path to membership ahead of the summit. These countries argue that Ukraine has endured enough suffering to earn its place and hesitation would only empower the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
France, Germany, and the U.S. prefer “a slower, more cautious approach,” according to the article. Some of the arguments against the rapid ascension include prioritizing battlefield support.
“The objective between now and Vilnius is getting to an agreement that displays unity and tangible support to Ukraine, maintains the open-door policy, and shows progress toward membership, while respecting the concerns of some member countries,” a British diplomat said to The Washington Post.
On April 21, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that President Volodymyr Zelensky accepted the invitation to attend the Vilnius summit. Ahead of the visit, Ukraine’s president has called for security guarantees from international partners, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba has urged for an accelerated NATO membership process.