Zelensky calls for 'security guarantees' for Ukraine's NATO membership
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, assured that he will deal with NATO leaders meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, who provide security guarantees for Ukraine on his way to NATO.
This, since the members of the alliance have expressed their unanimous support for the accession of Ukraine, marking a "clear direction" for its future entry once the Russian invasion is over.
In statements upon his arrival, the Ukrainian president said that he went to the summit with three priorities: new Western weapons packages to support the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the ground, as well as discuss the conditions for the invitation to join NATO and the possible security guarantees that the allies can provide to avoid gray areas during their accession process.
We want to be on the same page And what we hear is that we will have an invitation when the security conditions allow it,” Zelenski said.
In this sense, he affirmed that during his meeting with the allied leaders to inaugurate the NATO-Ukraine Council, a consultation mechanism with which Kiev will be on an equal footing with the allies to carry out consultations and deal with security matters, he will discuss the guarantees of security. “I will fight for security guarantees for Ukraine on its way to NATO," he stressed.
This Tuesday, the 31 allied leaders agreed to offer an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance once it meets the security conditions, a promise with which to renew the commitment already expressed in 2008 to one day incorporate kyiv into the organization.
NATO thus takes a step forward although does not use any time reference to Ukraine's entry, thus satisfying Germany and the United States, which were the most reluctant to extend the invitation to kyiv, which was claimed by Eastern European countries such as Poland and the Baltics.
Tuesday's meeting in Lithuania was marked by Zelensky's reproaches to the terms of the declaration. On his way to Vilnius, he called it "absurd" that Ukraine's entry into NATO is not set as a timetable and that the alliance puts conditions on its accession.
In Zelensky's eyes, linking the entry to Russian aggression amounts to allow Russia to “bargain with the integration of Ukraine into NATO” in future negotiations. However, in his first appearance at the summit venue, the Ukrainian president lowered his tone and avoided criticizing the allies.
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