The upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius is set to endorse a long-term aid package for Ukraine, ultimately leading it towards membership of the Western defensive alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt on June 17.
Stoltenberg said that this move will enable the Ukrainian Defense Forces to meet NATO standards and aims to strengthen political ties during the summit.
“This will bring Ukraine closer to NATO,” said the secretary general.
Stoltenberg underscored that Ukraine’s future lies within NATO, but currently, the country’s main priority is establishing itself as a sovereign and independent state.
“Without achieving this, membership discussions are not possible. We must ensure robust security measures are in place after the end of this conflict to prevent Russia from rearming and launching another attack, thereby breaking the cycle of Russian aggression,” he said.
The NATO Summit is scheduled to take place on July 11-12 in Vilnius. Kyiv has said it hopes to receive a clear signal during the summit that it will be allowed to join the alliance.
Stoltenberg has previously affirmed that such a signal will be given.
However, U.S. news website Politico has reported that Western allies still lack a unified position on the security guarantees requested by Ukraine, just five weeks ahead of the summit.
And according to U.S. newspaper the Wall Street Journal, before Ukraine’s joins NATO, Western countries will propose a security model for Ukraine similar to the one previously given to Israel. This model would facilitate the transfer of weapons and advanced technologies to Kyiv, representing a step towards membership of the alliance.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that if Ukraine does not receive a clear signal regarding its membership, he sees no point in attending the NATO Summit in Vilnius.
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