From our correspondent
Washington – What will NATO offer to Ukraine at the Vilnius Summit? NATO members who met in Lithuania on July 11-12 want to see Kiev progress in its relationship with NATO, but they also want it Avoid specific promisesas a timetable to join the alliance they will then have to meet.
NATO is divided on this issue. On top of this cautious approach, along with Germany, There is the American president Biden That appeared after a Saturday at the beach in Delaware in an interview with CNN in which he ruled out Kiev’s immediate entry into NATO, instead defining himself optimistic about the fact thatEntering Sweden —something he talked about in an hour-long phone call with Erdogan on Air Force One’s flight to London, where he stopped off today before arriving in Vilnius (he’ll meet Prime Minister Sunak and King Charles, with John Kerry, to talk about climate).
Kyiv’s accession to NATO
Zelensky is not asking for immediate access to NATO, he has acknowledged that his country will not join NATO while in the midst of war (because it would drag the entire alliance into the conflict in the name of Article 5 of the treaty.) but he wants a road map About how and when access will take place after the end of hostilities. Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jake SullivanHe told reporters aboard Air Force One yesterday that Vilnius would provide “an opportunity to make progress along the path to Ukraine’s aspiration to become a member of NATO.” In short, the diplomats are working on a sentence in the closing statement to try to do just that Promise promotion for 2008 At the Bucharest Summit (where the alliance decided that Ukraine would become a member in the future, but did not provide a clear path to do so). “Among other things, there will be talk of a process to continue working on reforms,” Sullivan said in the press release. It is a delicate balancing act to avoid repeating what was already said in 2008, but also to make very accurate promises.
With or without an invitation to end the so-called “strategic ambiguity”, Kiev expects guarantees of its security from Western countries, without delay and as quickly as possible. NATO will provide political and practical support – he writes Wall Street Journal – The promises taken together will give Zelensky enough to be able to Claim victory. Military assistance and long-term security guarantees will be administered bilaterally, outside of the coalition itself, so that the group can carry on Avoid direct conflict with Russia It defines itself as a defensive alliance only. Biden announced an important speech Wednesday. cooperation What he will draw with Zelensky compares with that of the United States IsraelIt will also require congressional support.
One of the things NATO members agreed upon was to raise Kiev’s status in relation to the alliance. The new NATO-Ukraine Council will replace the lower-level committee that currently exists. It’s not just a name change, but it is Political meaningsaid the general secretary Jens Stoltenberg. In the new Council, unlike the Commission, Ukraine will be treated as an equal and not as a “junior” partner, it will have the right to hold meetings of the Council at which it will have a mechanism for crisis consultations, it will be able to establish work and make binding decisions. Stoltenberg plans to attend the first board meeting on Wednesday with Zelensky. The only other NATO council with Russia, suspended after the invasion of Ukraine. NATO will also provide Ukraine 500 million dollars In non-lethal military aid, with the aim of bringing it closer to NATO standards in the region such as civilian control in the military sphere. The bureaucratic hurdle of the “Membership Action Plan” envisioned for aspiring NATO members would be eliminated, but Sullivan made clear yesterday that there are still more reforms Kiev will have to do.
To mitigate potential disappointment with the summit, the White House gave the go-ahead for sending cluster bombs which, however, are banned by various allies. In the context of his defense of this choice, Sullivan said that the Ukrainians are committed not to use them outside their lands and in populated areas, and explained that Biden was persuaded to make this decision, with the unanimous support of the National Security Council, as he ran out of Kiev. 155mm artillery ammunition, of which there is a global shortage. Thus Sullivan described the use of cluster bombs as: temporary toolto strike the Russian trenches blocking the Ukrainian counterattack, while waiting to be able to supply the necessary artillery in the long term.
“There is a very simple way to judge the success of the NATO summit in Vilnius,” writes Frederick Kempe of the Atlantic Research Council. Will President Zelensky join the traditional family photo of the 31 coalition leaders? According to some, no matter what agreement was reached, this would be the strongest signal ever sent to Russia after 500 days of war. Others fear, however, that no other signal will provide road map precise. Doesn’t the saying that Kiev will join NATO only after the end of the war give Moscow an additional reason to continue fighting?
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