July 08, 2023

Will NATO Say No?


Will NATO Say No?
Vilnius, Lithuania. Igor Gubaidulin, Unsplash.

In an interview with BNS, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda shared his thoughts on Ukraine's potential accession to NATO. He said that while Kyiv may not receive an invitation to join NATO at the July 11-12, 2023 summit in Vilnius, the outcome will still be encouraging for the Ukrainian people.

“President Zelensky, I hope that when he arrives in Vilnius, while he may not get everything he hopes for in his maximum plans, he will definitely get a lot,” Nausėda said. He said Ukraine will be granted security assurances from specific nations, along with the establishment of a Ukraine-NATO Council.

Ukraine is hoping for concrete actions from the NATO summit, including the potential for membership after the conflict has been resolved, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. President Volodymyr Zelensky said he feels Ukraine has ample grounds for an alliance invitation. Nausėda acknowledged that it has not been ruled out that Ukraine might be asked to join NATO post-conflict.

Both Lithuania and Poland strongly back Ukraine's eventual integration into NATO. “Our message is very clear: Ukraine will be a member of NATO,” Nausėda said.

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