Lithuanian president believes idea of alternative to NATO membership counterproductive for Ukraine

14 April, 02:53 PM
He called for unity within NATO (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

He called for unity within NATO (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

The idea of an alternative to NATO membership is counterproductive for Ukraine, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said during a visit to the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv on April 13.

Asked about the creation of an alternative system of security guarantees, the Lithuanian leader said he believed in the North Atlantic Alliance.

Nausėda added that any attempt to create something parallel or similar could lead to competition between such organizations.

"It will divide us, disperse our forces. We cannot afford such a luxury. That's why we need unity," he said.

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According to him, "no matter what some partners say," he believes that sooner or later Ukraine will be in NATO and "will have everything that this most powerful defense and security organization in the world can provide."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, disagreed with his Lithuanian counterpart, stating that Ukraine had not yet received guidelines for membership in the Alliance.

"Ukraine will be in NATO when Gitanas Nausėda becomes NATO secretary general. But we need security guarantees now," Zelensky said.

Following peace negotiations with Russia in Turkey's Istanbul on March 29, the Ukrainian delegation unveiled the idea of a new system of security guarantees for Ukraine.

The head Ukraine’s negotiating group, David Arakhamia, said that Kyiv wants to see the countries of the UN Security Council, including the UK, China, the United States, France, Turkey, Germany, Poland and Israel, as guarantors. Other countries will be able to give security guarantees at will.

According to him, Ukraine wants to receive security guarantees from the signatory countries that will be tougher than NATO's Article 5. Guarantor states will be obliged to provide assistance to Ukraine within a few days in the event of military aggression.

The Ukrainian president announced that the representatives of the signatory countries could hold a joint meeting to discuss security guarantees.

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