NATO allies assure security for Ukraine's path to membership
During the recent NATO summit, the United States and its global allies announced significant measures to enhance security for Ukraine. The objective is to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities against Russia and support its pursuit of NATO membership.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine expressed criticism over the absence of an invitation or specific timeline for NATO entry, deeming it "absurd." However, the powerful military alliance responded by offering long-term protection to Ukraine. It's worth noting that Ukraine has been advocating for prompt membership while simultaneously dealing with the Russian invasion that began in February 2022, resulting in significant loss of life and the displacement of millions.
Instead of providing an immediate timetable for membership, the G7 countries, composed of the world's most industrialized nations, issued a declaration outlining a framework for bilateral negotiations. This framework includes military and financial support, intelligence sharing, and a commitment to swift action in the event of another Russian attack.
President Joe Biden, along with Zelenskiy and leaders from the G7 countries (the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan), emphasized their enduring support, affirming their unwavering commitment to Ukraine. They assured that their support will continue for as long as necessary.
While Zelenskiy expressed disappointment regarding the absence of a membership timeline, he considered the outcome a "meaningful success" due to the multiple announcements of military aid for Kyiv. He declared that Ukraine has obtained security guarantees on its path to NATO and acknowledged it as a significant security victory.
Zelenskiy called for further assistance and expressed his intention to discuss Ukraine's need for long-range weaponry during his meeting with President Biden at the summit. He also mentioned that an invitation to NATO would make the results ideal.
During their private meeting, President Biden assured Zelenskiy that the United States was making maximum efforts to meet Ukraine's needs. Biden praised Zelenskiy's resilience and determination and expressed anticipation for the day when Ukraine officially becomes a NATO member.
In a lighthearted moment, Biden jokingly remarked that Ukraine would be stuck with the United States, evoking laughter from Zelenskiy as they discussed Ukraine's prospective NATO membership. When asked about the timeline for Ukraine to join NATO, Biden playfully replied, "An hour and 20 minutes."
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan mentioned that during their meeting, Biden would offer Zelenskiy long-range missiles.
Zelenskiy expressed gratitude to "all Americans" for the billions of dollars in aid his country had received. He emphasized that these funds were not only utilized for military purposes but also for the well-being of Ukrainian citizens.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace reminded Ukraine that its international allies were not merely a retail service and that appreciation for weapons donations would help persuade Western politicians to provide further support. Zelenskiy responded, expressing gratitude to the UK for the support they have received from the people, prime ministers, and the minister of defense.
Negotiations between Ukraine and Britain, France, Germany, and the U.S. have been ongoing for weeks to establish a comprehensive international framework of support. This framework includes the provision of advanced military equipment, training, intelligence sharing, and cyber defense. In return, Ukraine commits to improving governance through judicial and economic reforms and enhancing transparency.
Furthermore, a new NATO-Ukraine Council was established, aiming to strengthen cooperation between Kyiv and the 31-nation alliance. The first meeting of this council took place during the summit.