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Zelensky to attend Vilnius NATO summit, event program says

by Dinara Khalilova July 10, 2023 4:28 PM 2 min read
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) and President Volodymyr Zelensky speak at a news conference in Kyiv on April 20, 2023. (Photo: Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Following a bilateral meeting, President Volodymyr Zelensky and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will hold a joint press conference at the Vilnius summit on July 12, according to the latest update on NATO's website.

Earlier, Stoltenberg told reporters that Zelensky would join the inaugural meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council as part of the summit but didn't specify whether Ukraine's president would do it in person or online.

Bloomberg also reported, citing anonymous sources, that Zelensky would arrive in Vilnius on July 12 to participate in the NATO summit.

Zelensky himself hasn't announced the upcoming trip to the Lithuanian capital. In an interview with ABC News published on July 9, he didn't confirm if he would attend the summit. Presidential Office head Andrii Yermak told the media outlet that the president was "still thinking about it."

Earlier, Zelensky said that "there is no point" in Kyiv's attendance of the Vilnius summit, scheduled for July 11-12, unless the alliance offers a membership invitation or "some kind of signal."

On July 10, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that NATO allies had agreed to remove the Membership Action Plan (MAP) from Ukraine's path toward accession, allowing Kyiv to accelerate the process.

Commenting on Kuleba's statement, Stoltenberg said that the MAP removal was part of a three-element package to bring Ukraine closer to the alliance, set to be presented at the summit.

Stoltenberg added that the discussions on the package are still ongoing and "no final decision has been made," but he's confident that allies "will have unity and a strong message on Ukraine" at the summit.

Stoltenberg says Vilnius summit will agree on 3-part package ‘to bring Ukraine closer to NATO’
NATO member states are expected to adopt a three-part package “to bring Ukraine closer” to the alliance during its next summit in Vilnius, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on July 7.
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