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Ukraine's expectations from NATO summit: Minimum and maximum objectives

Ukraine's expectations from NATO summit: Minimum and maximum objectives Photo: Ukraine's expectations from the NATO summit in Washington (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The next summit of the North Atlantic Alliance will be held on July 9-11 in Washington. The goal at most is an official invitation for Ukraine, says Yehor Cherniev, Chairman of the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, in an RBC-Ukraine article "Collective defense: How NATO formed and why membership in Alliance important for Ukraine".

Maximum task

According to Cherniev, there are high hopes for the upcoming summit. Ukraine is counting on an official invitation from the allies, even with the warning that this will not trigger ratification in national parliaments. The invitation would mean that Ukraine has a reserved seat in the Alliance.

"I don't know if our partners are ready to issue an invitation. But I know that they are working on a formula. We just insist that it should be a step forward compared to what happened in Vilnius," he adds.

At the same time, the partners are lowering their expectations. According to UK Ambassador to NATO David Quarrey, Ukraine should not expect a breakthrough this year. Similarly, American Ambassador Julianne Smith does not see any possibility of an invitation.

Chernev adds that Ukraine's allies continue to take into account how the Kremlin views the situation, despite their statements that it has no veto power. However, there is still enough time and meetings before the summit. He recalled that last year the final text of the communique was adopted almost in the last hours.

Minimum task

The minimum task is a roadmap. According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the parties will focus on developing it during the summit in Washington.

The roadmap is likely to contain steps and possibly deadlines.

"This is practically the same MAP, but less formal. That is, what we have to do to become interoperable. Specific steps. Today we have a national program designed for a year. The roadmap will take into account everything that is needed to become a de facto part of the North Atlantic Alliance," Chernev adds.

Security policy

According to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, joining NATO is a strategic goal of Ukraine's security policy. After Ukraine applied for integration into the Alliance, many NATO member parliaments expressed support for the accession.

"And I am convinced that NATO countries can already invite Ukraine to join the Alliance. The NATO Washington Summit will take place in July, and Ukraine is counting on such a decision. This is what Ukrainian soldiers on the front line, who are defending NATO's eastern flank, expect. This is what civilians who are experiencing Russian terror every day expect," he adds.

According to Stefanchuk, Ukraine's invitation to NATO could be a powerful step towards de-escalating the security situation on the European continent.

Ukraine's path to NATO

On September 30, 2022, Ukraine applied for NATO membership under an accelerated procedure. Ukraine expected to receive an invitation during the summer summit in Vilnius, but this did not happen.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that Ukraine would not be able to join the Alliance until active hostilities ended.

At the end of November 2023, Kyiv received NATO's recommendations for accession. This was the result of the NATO-Ukraine Council, which met in Brussels on November 29.