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NATO Summit in Vilnius. The most important findings

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The NATO summit is underway in Vilnius. In a communiqué after the first day of the meeting, it was written that “we fully support Ukraine’s right to choose its own security solutions.” “Ukraine’s future is in NATO,” it said. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said earlier that “NATO members have approved the most comprehensive defense plan since the end of the Cold War.” – It serves to face the two most serious threats – Russia and terrorism – he stressed.

A communiqué issued on Tuesday by the heads of state and government of NATO countries emphasizes that the alliance will defend every inch of the territory of the member states, as well as one billion of their inhabitants, in accordance with Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Regarding the war Russia against Ukraine, the signatories of the communiqué wrote that they “never recognize Russia’s illegal and unlawful annexations, including (annexation) of CrimeaThey also stressed that Russia’s war crimes and atrocities committed during this war will not go unpunished. “Russia must immediately stop this illegal war, cease the use of force against Ukraine, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all its forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory within its internationally recognized borders.

NATO members pledge to “further strengthen political and practical support for Ukraine as it defends its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.” “We fully support Ukraine’s right to choose its own security solutions. Ukraine’s future lies in NATO,” the communiqué continued, recalling that the alliance pledged in 2008, at the Bucharest Summit, to accept Ukraine.

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“Ukraine’s path to full Euro-Atlantic integration has gone beyond the Membership Action Plan (MAP) (…). Allies will continue to support Ukraine and review its progress on interoperability, as well as additional democratic and sectoral reforms required NATO (countries) foreign ministers will regularly assess this progress (…) We will be able to issue an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when the allies determine that these conditions have been met, “the statement reads.

NATO Communiqué: The Alliance will remain vigilant

Attention was also drawn to the “deepening military integration of Russia and Belarus“, which poses a challenge to the stability of the region. “NATO will remain vigilant and will continue to carefully monitor the development of this situation, in particular the possible deployment of so-called private military companies in Belarus,” the document reads.

“We condemn the intentions expressed by Russia to deploy nuclear weapons and nuclear warhead delivery systems on the territory of Belarus,” the signatories of the statement said. They also stressed that they “welcome the efforts of the allies to strengthen their presence on NATO’s eastern flank”, which supports defense and deterrence mechanisms.

“The European Union remains a unique and fundamental partner of NATO”

The communiqué emphasized the need to build national, collective and social “resilience” and endurance, as they are “the basis of a credible (mechanism of) deterrence and defence”. On this issue, NATO “will continue to work with its partners … and in particular the European Union.”

Gala dinner ending the first day of the NATO summit in VilniusPAP/EPA/TIM IRELAND

The document further stated that “European Union remains a unique and fundamental partner of NATO.” “Our strategic partnership is fundamental to the security and well-being of our countries and the Euro-Atlantic region. It is built on our shared values, our determination to face common challenges and our unequivocal commitment to promoting and protecting peace, freedom and prosperity.”

“We confirm in their entirety all decisions, principles and commitments regarding NATO-EU cooperation. We will continue to strengthen this partnership (…). In the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine, NATO-EU cooperation has become more significant,” the statement reads.

NATO remains the strongest alliance in history that will stand the test of time and continue to defend the freedom and security of allies.

READ ALSO: Zelensky in Vilnius. “NATO will give Ukraine security. Ukraine will make NATO stronger”

Stoltenberg: we confirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO

At a press conference after Tuesday’s talks, the NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg “Today, the allies agreed on a package containing three elements that will bring Ukraine closer to NATO.” – First – a new multi-annual support program for Ukraine to support the transition from post-Soviet equipment and doctrines to NATO, to help rebuild the defense sector, as well as to provide support in the medical equipment sector – he said.

– Secondly – the NATO-Ukraine Council for solving crisis situations, consultations and the decision-making process, where we will meet as equal partners – he noted.

Jens Stoltenberg PAP/Leszek Szymanski

– Third – announced Stoltenberg – “we confirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.” – We have agreed to remove the Membership Action Plan (MAP) requirement. This will change the path to membership for Ukraine from a two-stage process to a one-stage process, said the NATO chief.

– We have made it clear that we will invite Ukraine to join NATO when allies agree and the conditions are met. It is a strong package for Ukraine and a clear path towards Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance, he added.

Stoltenberg noted that there is no time frame for Ukraine’s admission to the Alliance, as the NATO accession process has always been based on meeting requirements. – We now have a program on how to bring Ukraine closer to NATO. Part of it are the arrangements for the interoperability of NATO and Ukraine armies, he assured.

“There has never been a stronger signal from NATO regarding Ukraine’s future in the Alliance,” Stoltenberg said.

Membership Action Plan (MAP) – what is it?

The Membership Action Plan (MAP), which Stoltenberg talked about in the context of Ukraine, is a program that is supposed to prepare a given country that wants to become a member of NATO to be able to fulfill its allied obligations.

Each country that joined the Alliance had its own plan, adapted to its specificity and current needs. Stoltenberg announced that it had been decided that no such plan would be needed in the case of Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Five reasons why the Vilnius Summit is so important for NATO

Stoltenberg: We will make many decisions to make the Alliance even strongerReuters

State Department: To join NATO, Ukraine must implement anti-corruption and democratic reforms

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller spoke on Tuesday about the conditions that Ukraine must meet to join NATO.

– I am not in a position to list the specific conditions from this podium, but these conditions are democratic reforms, anti-corruption reforms, which we have been in dialogue with Ukraine for some time and which Ukraine has publicly identified as reforms it needs to make. So it’s not a secret to anyone,” Miller said during Tuesday’s press briefing. He added that Ukraine has made great progress on this issue, which is reflected in the omission of the MAP as a reform process necessary for accession to the alliance.

When asked how the communiqué from the Vilnius summit differed from the one from Bucharest in 2008, where Ukraine was also promised membership, the spokesman pointed to omitting the MAP and noting Ukraine’s progress on its way to NATO. Referring to the critical statement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the vague wording in the communiqué, he expressed his understanding of Kiev’s position.

Vilnius before the NATO summitPAP/EPA/PHILIP SINGER

– We certainly understand how members of the Ukrainian authorities and Ukrainian society approach this. It is impossible to imagine the conditions in which they live, and we understand that, given these conditions, they demand what they demand. I think we would do the same if we were in their shoes,” Miller said. He announced that the US will continue to help Ukraine win this war. At the same time, he stressed that Ukraine’s accession was not possible as long as the war lasted.

When asked by PAP how the US defines the end of the war and whether Ukraine’s path to NATO may take many years, the ministry spokesman said that the answer to this question would require answering “many hypothetical questions about a very unpredictable situation”. He also pointed out that the allies had not decided to set a time frame for Ukraine’s accession.

Miller also announced that in the coming days the US will present a proposal for temporary security guarantees for Ukraine.

NATO Chief: The Most Comprehensive Defense Plan Since the End of the Cold War

At Tuesday’s conference, Stoltenberg also said that “NATO members have approved the most comprehensive defense plan since the end of the Cold War.” “It serves to tackle the two most serious threats: Russia and terrorism,” he added.

– In the new plans, we have 300,000 troops on high alert, including significant air and sea capabilities. Strong defense and deterrence require an industrial base, which is why an action plan has been adopted that will accelerate joint procurement, increase interoperability and increase production and investment capacity, he pointed out.

He noted that “in order for all this to happen, we need to invest more in the defense sector.” “Our latest estimates show that defense spending by European allies and Canada will increase by 8.3 percent in 2023. This is the largest spending increase in decades,” he said.

NATO leaders in VilniusFOR THIS

Stoltenberg: Sweden makes the whole Alliance stronger

The head of NATO also said that the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO is particularly important for the security of the Baltic states. – Sweden makes the whole Alliance stronger and the Baltic region safer. This decision also sends a signal that NATO’s door remains open.

– It is not Russia who decides who becomes a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – stressed Stoltenberg.

READ ALSO. The presidents of Turkey and the USA met in Vilnius >>>

NATO chief: China is not an adversary, but it is becoming more and more of a challenge

Stoltenberg also spoke about China, noting that “they are not an adversary for us and we should continue to have relations with them.” However, he added that “China is becoming an increasing challenge to the rules-based international order.”

– China has refused to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. They threaten Taiwan. They carry out significant actions to increase their defensive capabilities. China’s nuclear modernization is unprecedented in its pace and scale, and it is carried out in a non-transparent manner, he added.

He stressed that the allies agreed to continue to work together to defend against Beijing’s repressive behavior.

Author:asty, ft//now, prpb

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/TOMS KALNINS

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