April 20, 2024 4:09 am
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Zelensky’s Bold Assertion: G7 Promises Cannot Substitute the Importance of NATO Membership

President Zelensky of Ukraine has expressed gratitude for the new security commitments made by the G7 powers. However, he emphasized that these commitments should not be seen as a replacement for Ukraine’s desired NATO membership. Zelensky made these remarks after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO summit in Vilnius.

Zelensky stated, “We can state that the results of this summit are good, but should we receive an invitation, then that would be the optimum,” clarifying that while the G7 promises were significant, they should be considered as “security guarantees on our way to integration” rather than an alternative to NATO membership.

Later in the day, the G7 group is expected to unveil a long-term plan to support Ukraine in defeating the Russian invasion and deterring future aggression. Nonetheless, Zelensky had hoped that the NATO summit would issue a formal invitation along with a clear timetable for Ukraine’s membership in the alliance. He told reporters, “The best guarantee for Ukraine is to be in NATO,” expressing his confidence that Ukraine would eventually join NATO and adding that his administration was committed to making it happen.

On Tuesday, NATO leaders agreed that Ukraine would receive an invitation to join the alliance when certain conditions were met. Zelensky interpreted this as “when it will be safe on our land,” indicating his understanding of the need for a stabilized and secure environment before NATO membership.

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, sympathized with Zelensky’s position and acknowledged the progress that Ukraine had made at the summit. Stoltenberg mentioned that Zelensky would join the inaugural meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council, where he would participate as an equal with the 31 NATO leaders. Moreover, multiple NATO members have pledged to enhance bilateral assistance.

Stoltenberg stated, “Today, we meet as equals, I look forward to the day we meet as allies.” He emphasized the necessity of establishing credible security arrangements for Ukraine’s future and preventing history from repeating itself. Stoltenberg welcomed the commitment of many allies to provide long-term security assistance to Ukraine, which would help deter any potential aggression from Russia after the war ends, in addition to the support provided by NATO as a whole.

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