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Zelensky blasts unclear time frame for NATO invite: 'unprecedented and absurd'

by Martin Fornusek July 11, 2023 2:29 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he addresses media representatives during a joint news conference alongside Bulgaria's Prime Minister in Sofia on July 6, 2023. (NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky said on July 11 that he has "received signals that certain wording is being discussed without Ukraine," noting that the "wording is about the invitation to become NATO member, not about Ukraine's membership."

"It's unprecedented and absurd when a time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine's membership. While at the same time vague wording about 'conditions' is added even for inviting Ukraine," Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

"It seems there is no readiness neither to invite Ukraine to NATO nor to make it a member of the Alliance."

Zelensky noted that this hesitation provides an opportunity for Russia to continue its terror in Ukraine. He emphasized that he will openly discuss the issue once he arrives at the summit.

On July 10, Zelensky informed of his plans to join the allies in Vilnius, announcing bilateral talks with the U.S., Canada, Japan, and several European countries.

Davidas Matulionis, Lithuania's ambassador to NATO, said on July 11 that Ukrainian will not receive an invitation to join the Alliance at the summit. The allies will, however, present conditions under which such as invitation could be granted.

Kyiv applied for a fast-tracked NATO membership in September 2022. The country looks for a strong signal on its entry into the Alliance at the Vilnius summit on July 11-12. According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Kyiv should be able to skip the Membership Action Plan on its path to accession.

However, even this procedure would still oblige Ukraine to carry out reforms and would not set any time frame for Ukraine's accession.

Editorial: A smart NATO would seek Ukraine’s accession
Editor’s note: Editorials are articles that present the opinion of the editorial team of the Kyiv Independent. When one looks at the history of the West supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russia, one pattern shines through: missed opportunities. The whole war is ripe with opportunity for NATO…
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