NATO summit

Ukraine membership “irreversible path”

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10.07.2024 17:47

In addition to promises of stronger air defense and faster delivery of F-16 fighter jets, the final document of the current NATO summit contains another blow that the Kremlin will have to digest. This is because the document speaks of an "irreversible path" with regard to Ukraine's membership of the military alliance.

According to diplomats on Wednesday, the allies now see Ukraine on an "irreversible path to full Euro-Atlantic integration, including NATO membership". Finnish President Alexander Stubb welcomed the agreement on the new text, which the Eastern Europeans in particular had campaigned for in the alliance.

Training of Ukrainian soldiers in Norway (Bild: APA/AFP/Jonathan NACKSTRAND)
Training of Ukrainian soldiers in Norway

However, the member states did not yet want to issue an official invitation to join. The main reason for this is the fear of the USA and Germany of a confrontation with Russia. According to the agreed text, the allies confirm that they want to extend an invitation to Kiev to join "when the allies are in agreement and conditions are met". The NATO countries had already agreed on this formula at their summit in Lithuania's capital Vilnius a year ago. 

The Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Selenskyj has not yet received an official invitation to join NATO. (Bild: APA/AP)
The Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Selenskyj has not yet received an official invitation to join NATO.

USA among the more cautious allies
The text is a compromise that reflects the different positions in the alliance on the NATO accession process. The NATO perspective for Ukraine has long been a contentious issue within the alliance. Countries such as the USA refuse to issue a formal invitation to join in the current situation. On the other side are numerous other allies who argue that Russia should be clearly shown that it will not be able to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. In this logic, the hope is that inviting Ukraine into NATO could even lead to a quicker end to the war. 

The summit declaration should be published after the working session of the heads of state and government on Wednesday evening. A meeting of the so-called NATO-Ukraine Council with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi is also planned for this Thursday at the end of the summit.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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