NATO Leaders Approve Three-Point Package to Accelerate Ukraine's Alliance Entry

NATO Leaders Approve Three-Point Package to Accelerate Ukraine's Alliance Entry

In a significant development announced at the Vilnius NATO summit, leaders of NATO member countries have agreed upon a three-point package designed to expedite Ukraine's accession into the Alliance. The news was disclosed by NATO General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, at a press conference on July 7. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine is expected to join the group at the subsequent Ukraine-NATO Council meeting.

"The Vilnius Summit will convey a primary message—NATO remains unified. We will make Ukraine stronger and lay out its future vision. I expect that the Alliance leaders will agree on a three-point package that will bring Ukraine closer to NATO," Stoltenberg stated.

This package will include a multi-year aid program ensuring full compatibility between the Ukrainian armed forces and NATO, enhancing political connections, and establishing a NATO-Ukraine Council.

Furthermore, according to Stoltenberg, the leaders will affirm Ukraine's future membership in the Alliance, working together to bring Ukraine closer to this objective.

"President Zelensky will join us at the new Ukraine-NATO Council meeting. This will be a platform for consultations in crisis situations and decision-making, where all participants, including Ukraine, will sit as equals to resolve security issues," said Stoltenberg.

Highlighting the distinction between the Bucharest Agreement of 2008 and the agreement to be announced at the Vilnius Summit, Stoltenberg emphasized Ukraine's significantly closer proximity to the Alliance. The cooperation between NATO and Ukraine has become much more robust since 2014.

"On this Summit, we will ensure Ukraine with a high level of cooperation and operational compatibility with NATO. This time, the leaders will approve a package that will help Ukraine get closer to NATO. We will also bring Ukraine closer to NATO by establishing a NATO-Ukraine Council," Stoltenberg reiterated.

While he expressed confidence that the summit's allies would find a unified approach to the issue of Ukraine's membership, Stoltenberg did not disclose specific formulation details of the announcement.

"As always at NATO summits, we conduct consultations on specific formulations. We do this in close contact with Ukraine. I am confident we will find something that suits everyone and allows Ukraine to move forward towards NATO membership," he explained.

Stoltenberg emphasized the criticality of Ukraine's success in its bid for NATO membership and stressed the current importance of military aid.

He expressed anticipation for the opportunity to welcome President Zelensky at the summit and his participation in the first Ukraine-NATO meeting.

In an interview with WJS in early June, Zelensky stated that he saw no sense in participating in the NATO summit in Vilnius if Ukraine did not receive concrete signals when it could become a member of the Alliance.