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Lithuania to raise issue of Ukraine's NATO membership at summit in Washington

Lithuania to raise issue of Ukraine's NATO membership at summit in Washington Фото: Lithuania to raise Ukraine's NATO membership issue at the summit in Washington (Getty Images)

At the NATO summit in Washington on July 9-11, Lithuania will raise the issue of Ukraine's membership in the Alliance, LRT reports.

According to reports, today, June 28, during a joint meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Seimas and the Committee on National Security and Defense, Lithuania discussed its preparations for the NATO summit in Washington.

"We discussed the priorities for the upcoming summit – the issue of Ukraine’s membership, an invitation or at least a stronger language. We will stand firmly on Ukraine’s side in order to achieve something more than what we had in Vilnius," said Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Laurynas Kasčiūnas.

Lithuania recalled that at last year's summit in Vilnius, NATO leaders stated that an invitation for Ukraine to join the Alliance would be sent after member states agree and the country fulfills the relevant conditions.

"At least there's no change of mind, no retreat, no one thinks that the statements adopted last year were too strong. This gives hope that we are moving forward by constantly raising the issue," emphasized Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis.

Ukraine's accession to NATO

In September 2022, following the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine officially applied for membership in NATO.

Last year, NATO member countries at the summit in Bucharest reaffirmed their support for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations and identified three key steps towards membership.

In particular, a decision was made to abandon the Membership Action Plan (MAP) format for Ukraine. This indicates NATO's recognition of Ukraine's readiness for membership and its desire to expedite the integration process.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated several months ago that the NATO summit in Washington would focus specifically on creating a roadmap for Ukraine's accession to the Alliance.

At the same time, as emphasized in a comment to RBC-Ukraine by Yehor Chernev, Chairman of the Permanent Ukrainian Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the roadmap is a minimum task for Ukraine at the summit in Washington.