NATO allies provide Ukraine with security guarantees as it moves toward membership

At a NATO summit on Wednesday, the United States, Britain, and other allies were getting ready to announce new security guarantees for Ukraine that would shield the nation from future attacks as Kyiv works to join the alliance.
A day after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy criticized as “absurd” NATO’s refusal to extend an invitation or set a timeframe for Ukraine’s membership into the alliance, the possibility of long-term security from members of the world’s most potent military bloc has emerged.

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In the midst of fighting a Russian invasion that began in February 2022 and resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and millions of displaced people, Ukraine has been pressing for quick NATO membership.

According to a British government statement, a declaration by the G7 industrialized nations will instead “set out how allies will support Ukraine over the coming years to end the war and deter and respond to any future attack.”

In actuality, this would take the form of bilateral agreements with Kiev for ongoing financial and military support for Ukraine’s armed forces. America, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Italy, and Britain make up the G7.

Zelenskiy admitted on Wednesday that he was disappointed by the lack of a membership timeline but that the summit’s outcomes in Vilnius had been generally positive and he had welcomed the flurry of announcements of greater military support from allies.

Zelenskiy urged for further information, though, and declared that he would bring up Ukraine’s need for long-range weaponry during a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the summit.

Zelenskiy stated, “We can say that the summit’s results are good, but if there was an invitation, they would be ideal.

Biden will be candid with Zelenskiy about the factors influencing NATO’s decision to accept him, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

He is aware of President Zelenskiy’s strong opinions and his willingness to voice them. Additionally, President Biden is very open-minded, truthful, and forthright with President Zelenskiy, according to Sullivan, who spoke to MSNBC.

There must be credible assurances.

NATO has carefully avoided making any clear military commitments to Ukraine out of concern that doing so may push Ukraine closer to going to war with Russia. NATO is an alliance based on mutual security assurances and the idea that an assault on one is an attack on all.

Given that Russia’s invasion already violated the so-called Budapest Memorandum, which world powers signed in exchange for Kyiv giving up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons, Ukraine is extremely skeptical of any less-binding security “assurances.”

Together with Zelenskiy, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg dismissed fresh Russian warnings about the repercussions of helping Ukraine and asserted that Ukraine and the alliance were closer than ever.

Stoltenberg stated, “Ukraine has the right to choose its own path,” adding, “It is not up to Moscow to decide.” He asserted that “credible” security guarantees were necessary for Ukraine in order to prevent Russia from further assaults.

“Of course guarantees, documents, council meetings are important but the most urgent task now is to ensure enough weapons for Ukrainian President Zelenskiy and his armed forces,” Stoltenberg said.

The security measures for Ukraine, according to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, were not intended to serve as a stand-in for full NATO membership.

NEW ARMS

On Wednesday, Zelenskiy was holding bilateral meetings with the United States, Canada, Germany, Britain, Japan and the Netherlands on the sidelines of the second day of the NATO summit in Vilnius to secure more arms for his counteroffensive.

“More life protection for all of Ukraine, more weaponry for our fighters! On Twitter, he declared, “We will bring new, crucial defense tools to Ukraine.

Additionally scheduled for Wednesday was the inaugural meeting of the new NATO-Ukraine Council, a new structure created to enhance coordination between Kyiv and the 31-nation alliance.

To protect allies from Soviet Union attacks, NATO was established in 1949. A comparable NATO-Russia Council was established in 2002 as some in the West aspired to strengthen ties with Moscow following the end of the Cold War.

After Russia annexed Crimea from Kiev in 2014 and supported proxies battling government forces in eastern Ukraine, NATO ended that engagement.

Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022 brought war back to Europe’s doorstep, reviving Cold War-era animosities.

NATO says Ukraine would not be allowed in while at war with Russia, with Washington and Berlin warning against any moves that could put the alliance in a direct conflict with Moscow.

Backers of Ukraine’s swift NATO accession in eastern Europe and elsewhere, on the other hand, have bristled at what they saw as a disappointing outcome of the first day of the summit.

Russia, which says NATO’s eastward expansion is an existential threat to its own security, swiftly lashed out.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy secretary of Russia’s powerful Security Council chaired by President Vladimir Putin, said increasing military assistance to Ukraine by NATO was bringing closer a World War Three.