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Ukraine seeks strong decision at NATO Washington summit - President's Office

Ukraine seeks strong decision at NATO Washington summit - President's Office Ihor Zhovkva (Getty Images)

Ukraine wants to receive a strong decision at the NATO summit in Washington next month as Kyiv tries to achieve its strategic goal of joining the military alliance, says Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine for Foreign Policy, said this in an interview with Reuters.

Zhovkva gave the interview before traveling to Luxembourg for an EU meeting, where negotiations on Ukraine's accession officially begin, and said that Kyiv wanted the NATO summit to end with concrete results.

"I think this summit deserves to have a strong decision, including on Ukraine. Because, I mean, if you're having a lack of strong decisions on Ukraine, the summit will be useless," he said

He did not specify what he believed would entail such a decision.

Zelenskyy, who unsuccessfully lobbied for a political invitation to join the alliance at last summer's Vilnius summit, said this year's summit should decide whether to invite Kyiv to join.

Summit in Washington

Although NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and Washington have said they do not expect the alliance members to invite Kyiv at the July 9-11 summit, Stoltenberg said he hopes to show that Ukraine is moving closer to membership.

The allies are discussing possible wording for a statement at the summit that could send such a signal. For example, a statement that Ukraine's path to NATO is irreversible.

"We deserve a strong decision. Any decision (by) NATO takes consensus. And we all know this, and we do understand that maybe this time, consensus will be formed again (on) the last day before the summit," Zhovkva said.

He adds that the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU has become a "huge boost for Ukrainians on the streets and in the trenches as the biggest conflict in Europe since World War Two rages on with no end in sight."

"People are waiting now for positive decisions in terms of European integration," he said.

From now on, Kyiv will consider the path to EU membership irreversible. "It's useless now to quarrel about how long negotiations will take, or whatever. It's very important. The path to full-fledged membership, which Ukraine deserves ... is irreversible," he said.

The leaders of 32 NATO states will gather for a summit in Washington on July 9-11. Read more about the possible outcomes in RBC-Ukraine's article "NATO Summit in Washington: What Ukraine seeks and might achieve".