First results of the NATO Summit in Vilnius for Ukraine: what is known
July 11 marked the first day of the NATO leaders' meeting in Vilnius. Find out what preliminary results the summit brought for Ukraine and what to expect from the NATO-Ukraine Council to be held on July 12
During the first day of the NATO summit in Vilnius, many statements were made about Ukraine, its membership in the Alliance and the war against russia. For example, it was decided that Ukraine will receive an invitation to join NATO, but only "when the Allies agree and the conditions are met." So, what changes have taken place, what to expect in the coming days, and when Ukraine will start its Euro-Atlantic journey - read more in our article.
What has been decided regarding Ukraine's membership in NATO?
The final document was supposed to be released at the end of the first day of the summit. However, there were disputes over the final statement both before the meeting and during the summit itself. Changes to the finished document were made almost at the last minute. However, Ukraine did not receive official guarantees of NATO membership. As expected, the main opponents of rapid accession were Germany and the United States. The main arguments cited by the leaders of these countries are the risk of a direct confrontation between NATO and russia and nuclear blackmail.
The abolition of the MAP for Ukraine
The summit confirmed previous statements about the abolition of Ukraine's MAP status. Read more about what this means and what guarantees it provides here.
What is the NATO-Ukraine Council and why is it needed?
As part of the expansion of Ukraine's cooperation with NATO, Allies announced the creation of a new NATO-Ukraine Council, the first meeting of which will take place on July 12 with the participation of Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It is during this meeting that the steps to be taken by Ukraine on the path to Euro-Atlantic integration should be agreed upon.
In addition, the transition from a "commission" to a "council" is an important change in Ukraine's structural and political relations with NATO and an additional "leverage" that Ukraine will be able to use. That is, in fact, the state will not need to wait for an invitation to the negotiating table, but will be able to convene meetings on its own.
New aid packages and long-range missiles
The meeting agreed on an assistance program that brings Ukraine closer to NATO. First and foremost, it is a multi-year military support package that provides for an annual allocation of $500 million. The funds are to be used to restore and strengthen Ukraine's security and defense sectors and facilitate the transition from outdated Soviet standards to NATO standards. It should also cover critical needs, such as fuel, equipment, demining, and medicines.
Also, during the summit, new assistance packages from NATO member states were announced, in particular:
● Germany announced a new supply of weapons worth 700 million euros, which will include Patriot and other man-portable air defense systems, Leopard tanks, Marder armored personnel carriers, artillery and tank shells, and demining equipment.
● France announced the transfer of long-range missiles that would contribute to a successful counteroffensive by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Later it became known that the missiles had already arrived in Ukraine.
● Norway announced an increase in military support for 2023 to $900 million.
In addition, it became known that the formation of a coalition of fighter jets was completed. Thus, 11 countries that have joined the Ukrainian initiative will begin training pilots on F-16 aircraft in August.
Why did Ukraine not receive an invitation to join NATO?
According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, this is the first time in history that the Alliance has given such a loud positive signal to a country that wants to join NATO. Previously, candidate states received the MAP document and moved at their own pace, according to the approved algorithm. However, it has been canceled for Ukraine, and despite the lack of a specific timeframe, NATO is doing everything possible to speed up the process.
On the one hand, it is true that Ukraine has been given a chance that no other country has ever had before, but on the other hand, the cautious statements of NATO leaders indicate an unwillingness to fight against russia and fear of a terrorist country, even though russia is now on the verge of collapse and is weakened to the maximum extent possible, both by external influences and internal events.
So, we look forward to the results of the NATO-Ukraine Council and hope for the determination of Western leaders!
We remind you that the return of the territories occupied by russia is not only the goal of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but also the sincere desire of every Ukrainian. You can read more about the problems that Ukraine will face after the de-occupation of Crimea and Donbas and how to solve them in our previous article.
Photo: Associated Press
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