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Vilnius. NATO Summit. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky: We deserved membership in the Alliance

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Our values ​​are what the Alliance believes in. Our defense is precisely that part of Europe’s formula that makes it united, free and at peace, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday, the day before the NATO summit in Vilnius. He added that his country “deserves membership in the Alliance.” The mere invitation of Ukraine to NATO will not draw anyone into the war, emphasized the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kuleba. He stressed that it was more about a “political message for Ukraine” than immediate membership.

On Tuesday, a two-day NATO summit will begin, the main topic of which will be the future of relations between the Alliance and Ukraine. According to the announcements of representatives of Western governments and the media, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is to appear in person in Vilnius on Wednesday, the second day of the meeting.

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

Zelensky: Ukraine deserves NATO membership

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– Even if different positions are presented, it is clear anyway: Ukraine deserves membership in the Alliance. Not now, because now is the war, but we need a clear signal,” Zelensky said in a social media recording. He stressed that the majority of NATO members supported Kiev in this matter and expressed his conviction that Ukraine would become a member of NATO.

“Ukraine’s eastern border is a line through which the Russian dictatorship will never pass again,” Zelensky said. He added that the security situation on NATO’s eastern flank depends on Ukraine.

President Zelensky on Snake Island spoke to the soldiersPAP/EPA/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE

– When we applied for NATO membership, we openly said that de facto Ukraine was already in the Alliance. Our weapons are the weapons of the Alliance. Our values ​​are what the Alliance believes in. Our defense is precisely that part of Europe’s formula that makes it united, free and at peace, continued Zelensky. The president said that the summit in Vilnius “is to confirm all this.”

He noted that Tuesday, the day the Vilnius summit begins, will also be the 503rd day of full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine. “This says a lot about our strength: the strength of the Ukrainian nation, which in the conditions of such a war, after so many battles and days, has a strength without which it is simply impossible to imagine the security of Europe,” Zelensky said.

Kuleba: The mere invitation to join NATO will not draw anyone into war

Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba he said in an interview with the German TV station ARD that now is the best time to make a decision to invite Ukraine to NATO.

Kuleba also refuted the fears of some NATO countriesthat the invitation would draw them into a war with Moscow. “We believe that the mere invitation will not draw anyone into the war,” the chief of Ukrainian diplomacy noted. He added that it was more about a “political message for Ukraine” than immediate membership.

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the possible admission of his country to the Alliance as a path to peace in Europe. “As soon as Ukraine can join NATO, there will be no more wars in Europe,” he stressed. According to Kuleba, Russia would not have dared to attack the Alliance then.

The inscription: “Putin, The Hague is waiting for you” on an office building in VilniusPAP/EPA/PHILIP SINGER

“NATO membership cannot stop this war, but it can prevent future wars in Europe,” stressed Ukraine’s foreign minister.

“We want to see ambitious steps to bring Ukraine closer to NATO”

“The Nordic countries stood alongside the Baltic states when they were heading for EU membership, realizing the importance of regional cooperation and common values. Today, motivated by the same principles of solidarity and unity, we support Ukraine’s efforts to meet the Copenhagen criteria and European standards” – the Foreign Ministers of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia wrote in the Washington Post, expressing support for Ukraine’s integration with the EU and NATO.

Referring to the climax war in Ukraine and the NATO summit in Vilnius starting on Tuesday, the ministers declared that “they cannot allow Russia to reap any fruits of its aggression.” They stressed that since Moscow is likely to remain a threat to both Europe and Ukraine, support for Kiev must be constant, lasting and long-term.

“All NATO countries agree that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance,” they wrote, citing a statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in April this year. “During the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, we want to see ambitious steps to bring Ukraine closer to NATO and increase our practical support, both financial and long-term,” the diplomats wrote. They emphasized that eight Nordic and Baltic states provided aid to Ukraine worth a total of USD 8.5 billion.

The future of Ukraine, the accession of Sweden, the strengthening of the eastern flank of the Alliance. Key topics of the NATO summit in VilniusMaciej Sokołowski/Fakty TVN

“At the same time, we must establish a credible, sustainable framework to secure Ukraine’s future by patching holes in Ukraine’s path towards future NATO membership,” they added.

Stoltenberg: consultations are ongoing

On Monday, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg he said that negotiations on Ukraine’s path to NATO are ongoing. “Consultations are ongoing and meetings will be held today,” Stoltenberg said during a press conference held in Vilnius.

– No final decision has been made on Ukraine yet, but I am sure that during the summit we will show unity and (announce – ed.) a strong message on this matter – he added.

Stoltenberg reiterated that a multi-year assistance program for Ukraine to ensure full interoperability of Ukrainian forces and NATO, the establishment of the NATO-Ukraine Council and the removal of the requirement to submit a Membership Action Plan (MAP) are currently being negotiated. – Removing the MAP would shorten the process from two to one – the NATO chief pointed out.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, who attended the conference with Stoltenberg, said that the withdrawal of the MAP “would be an important change in a positive sense and would certainly shorten Ukraine’s path to NATO membership.”

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE



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