NATO Summit, between the entry of Sweden and the prospects for Ukraine
The leaders of the 31 NATO member countries will open their summit in Vilnius tomorrowthe capital of Lithuania, with the aim of completing Sweden's entry "soon" and giving Ukraine "clear prospects" for an incorporation that is not expected immediately, as the country is at war.
The best kept secret of the NATO Heads of State and Government is the signal they send to kyiv to reinforce the Bucharest declaration of 2008, in which they already recognized Ukraine as a future member of NATO. The idea is to give this promise more power, in the middle of the war with Russia, although the allied sources rule out that the language of the declaration contains any temporary reference to Ukraine's entry into the organization.
“We did not come to Vilnius to reaffirm the Bucharest message. We will take into account the situation in Ukraine and the Russian invasion, and the declaration will reflect the long-term commitment to the stability of the country," US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said before the summit, which is being held at a historic and in a city just over 20 kilometers from Belarus, Moscow's main ally in the attack on Ukraine.
starting positions regarding Ukraine are not “absolutely coincidental”, German government sources admitted, a country that, like the United States, "discards" a formal invitation to kyiv to enter during the two days that the summit will last.
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenbergstated a few weeks ago, on his last working visit to the German capital and before Chancellor Olaf Scholz, that such an invitation was not “on the table”.
From Berlin it was recalled in this regard that the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, acknowledged in a recent interview with German public television that the long-awaited entry it could not be consummated “before the end of the war”.
Materialize the incorporation in the Alliance while the conflict lasts would imply making NATO “part of the war”which both Washington and Berlin, among other major partners of the organization, reject.
On behalf of the Lithuanian host, as well as the other Baltic countries -Estonia and Latvia-, as well as Poland, it is insisted that kyiv must be given concrete “security guarantees”, beyond the reiterated commitment to provide military, financial and humanitarian aid "as long as it is necessary".
How these guarantees or perspectives will materialize must be fixed at the third working meeting of the summitalready on Wednesday, in which the so-called NATO-Ukraine Council will be formalized, to which Zelenski is expected to attend, although his presence has not yet been confirmed.
The aim will be to "elevate" ties with kyiv through a forum that will meet about four times a year and pave the way for future membership in the organization.
The meeting of the 31 leaders in the capital of Lithuania will start this Tuesday with the traditional family photo, This will be followed by the first plenary session, focused on the idea of strengthening NATO, which in the opinion of Norway and Germany should include the defense of critical underwater infrastructures.
Another session will follow in the same format and focused on the incorporation of Sweden as a full memberor, something that is still pending the ratification of Hungary and especially Turkey.
Fundamental for the entry of Sweden, a country that, as a result of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, broke its line of military neutrality to ask together with Finland to join the Alliance, It could be a previous meeting, this Monday, between the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson.
The meeting was called at the initiative of Stoltenberg, after successive rounds of negotiations at the diplomatic, ministerial or leadership level, to try to break the Turkish blockade on Sweden and complete its accession, as Finland already achieved last April.
In Berlin he expressed his "confidence" that this unlocking will occur "soon", to which other bilateral rounds between Erdogan and other NATO leaders can contribute, on the margins of the Vilnius summit.
In this regard, the "successive steps" taken by Stockholm and the center-right government of Kristersson to dispel Ankara's objections, which accused the Nordic country of giving refuge to Kurdish opponents and specifically from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or related organizations.
Stockholm has recently approved successive immigration laws and hardened those related to terrorism or financial support to them, aimed at paving the way for their entry.
But the successive public burnings of the Koran, the holy book of Muslims, by Scandinavian far-rightists have once again inflamed the spirits of Ankara, which reproaches Sweden for authorizing these actions, which Stockholm understands as protected by freedom of expression.
Likewise, during the summit, the political chief of NATO hopes to close the commitment of the allies with a new horizon of military spending that set 2 percent as the minimum spending on Defense.
The pact is "on track" since within NATO there is a shared conviction that the conflict in Ukraine demands an increase in spending, which already registered a growth of 8.3 percent, the highest figure in its history.
(With information from EFE and Europe Press)
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