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Zelensky: ATACMS discussed but no decision yet

by Martin Fornusek July 12, 2023 8:23 PM 2 min read
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during joint press conference on the second day of the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 12, 2023. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at the Vilnius summit on July 12 that the provision of a long-range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) was discussed with the U.S. but no decision was made.

"There are such conversations, but there is no decision" on the issue of ATACMS yet, Zelensky said at a press conference.

"It is better not to raise the issue. Because there are expectations of the people, the military, everyone. And it seems to me that it is important to do it first, and then share information on how it happened," the president added.

Zelensky and Biden met for bilateral talks during the NATO summit in Lithuania's capital to discuss security support for Ukraine.

Biden's Security Advisor Jake Sullivan indicated earlier on July 12 that the two leaders will discuss the transfer of long-range missiles to Ukraine. According to The New York Times, the White House is considering providing Ukraine with the much-coveted missiles.

Zelensky also emphasized that Ukraine will not make any compromises on NATO membership through by territorial concessions to Russia.

"We will not give up our territories and we will never trade for a frozen conflict. This will never happen. Our partners clearly know my position," the president said.

Zelensky said he does not believe that partners would try to push Ukraine into such a move.

Concerning Ukraine's future entry into NATO, the Ukrainian delegation tried to convince the allies that the conditions for joining would concern only security issues, but unsuccessfully, Zelensky revealed.

Nevertheless, Zelensky reiterated his conviction that Ukraine will enter the Alliance after the war.

"I believe that we will be in NATO as soon as the security situation is stabilized. And this means that at the moment when the war ends, Ukraine will definitely be invited to NATO and we will be in NATO."

At the summit, NATO adopted a three-part package to bring Ukraine closer to the Alliance, and dropped the need for the Membership Action Plan (MAP), but stopped short of a full invitation.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine will be able to join once "allies agree, and conditions are met."

Before arriving at the summit, Zelensky openly criticized NATO's unclear signaling on Ukraine's bid, calling the lack of a time frame "unprecedented and absurd."

Biden: I look forward to Ukraine’s entry into NATO
During a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Vilnius summit on July 12, U.S. President Joe Biden said that he looks forward to Ukraine’s entry into the alliance.

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