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NATO summit prepares joint declaration with commitments to Ukraine - Financial Times

NATO summit prepares joint declaration with commitments to Ukraine - Financial Times Photo: NATO is preparing a declaration on Ukraine (Getty Images)

At the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 11-12, a kind of multilateral declaration with specific commitments regarding Ukraine is likely to be adopted, reports the Financial Times (FT).

Although official promises have not been finalized or disclosed, anonymous sources involved in the discussions informed FT that they would focus on codifying existing military supplies and give a clear commitment to continue.

Additionally, there will be guarantees regarding training Ukrainian military personnel, intelligence sharing, and assistance in defense policy reforms.

According to anonymous sources, NATO will also elevate the status of the existing Ukraine-NATO Commission to a council level. That gives Kyiv an equal seat at the negotiating table with NATO members and allows for meetings to be convened for "crisis consultations."

Insufficient measures

The supporters argue that these measures help to protect Ukraine in the short term, enhance long-term security, and prepare the country for NATO membership. However, skeptics, such as Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, warn that they "blur the picture" and distract attention from NATO membership. Kallas jokingly remarks that for someone whose native language is not English, "assurances," "commitments," and "guarantees" may become synonymous, while reliance can only be placed on Article 5.

As the publication notes, Ukraine is understandably cautious about paper promises. In 1994, under an agreement called the Budapest Memorandum, Russia refused its arsenal of Soviet nuclear weapons, the third-largest in the world, in exchange for security guarantees from Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. In 2014 and 2022, those guarantees meant nothing.

Some officials have presented these commitments as an "Israeli model," akin to Washington's open military support to the Jewish state. Currently, the U.S. commits to ensuring Israel's "qualitative military edge" in the Middle East and signs memorandums of understanding every ten years. Officials speculate that Ukraine could have something similar.

Security guarantees and NATO membership

According to KIIS surveys, the rhetoric of Ukraine's Western partners regarding "security guarantees" as an alternative to NATO membership is viewed skeptically by Ukrainians. For now, Ukrainians believe only in full membership.

Previously, President Joe Biden stated that the United States is ready to provide Ukraine with security guarantees similar to those given to Israel after the war. He believes that, at present, NATO lacks unity regarding Ukraine's membership in the alliance, and the accession process will take time after the war ends.