Former NATO Secretary General Warns: Member Nations May Deploy Troops to Ukraine

Former NATO Secretary General Warns: Member Nations May Deploy Troops to Ukraine

Former NATO Secretary General, Anders Rasmussen, has issued a stark warning that some NATO nations might be prepared to deploy troops on Ukrainian soil should member states, including the United States, fail to deliver tangible security guarantees for Kyiv at the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius. Recently, Rasmussen has been serving in an advisory role to the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, discussing Ukraine's role in a prospective European security framework.

Rasmussen underscored that even if a cohort of states were to provide Ukraine with security guarantees, other member countries would insist on keeping the topic of Ukraine's future NATO membership on the Vilnius summit's agenda. The current NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, confirmed that security guarantees will indeed be discussed at the summit in Vilnius, but added that full-fledged security guarantees are only provided to full members of NATO as per Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

Julianne Smith, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, communicated that they are exploring an array of options to signal Ukraine's progress in its relationship with NATO. Rasmussen emphasized that should NATO fail to agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there's a tangible possibility of individual countries taking action. He did not rule out potential follow-up actions by Poland, which has been actively assisting Ukraine, and possibly the Baltic states.

Rasmussen stressed the essential need for Ukraine to receive written security guarantees, ideally before the summit, but outside the NATO framework. These should encompass intelligence sharing, joint Ukraine training, enhanced ammunition production, NATO interoperability, and an arms supply sufficient to deter Russia from launching further attacks.

However, he cautioned that security guarantees alone might not be enough. He pointed out that some NATO allies might be in favor of providing security guarantees to sidestep genuine discussions on Ukraine's membership aspirations. Nevertheless, Rasmussen is of the opinion that the issue of Ukraine's NATO membership will inevitably be raised at the Vilnius summit. He has spoken to various Eastern European leaders and noted that there exists a group of staunch Eastern and Central European allies who desire, at the very least, a clear path for Ukraine towards NATO membership.