Zelenskyy Shares His Expectations from NATO Washington Summit

Wednesday, 10 January 2024

At a press conference in Vilnius with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda on 10 January, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he expected to receive military and political decisions from the NATO Washington Summit, including those on strengthening Ukraine's air defence.

"I would like to get two specific things. A defence decision and a political decision," Zelenskyy said.

Regarding the defence, Zelenskyy said the main thing is to strengthen Ukraine's air defence. "I would like to see the air defence package strengthened in terms of the number of systems we need. It is the systems and specific missiles that fight against Russian ballistic [missile]s," he explained.

"As for political decisions, the President of Lithuania has already said everything. I would like to see at least one concrete step towards NATO [membership]," Zelenskyy said.

For his part, Gitanas Nausėda noted that it would be a success for the Washington Summit if it could build on the Vilnius Summit and take the next step. 

He noted that while before the Vilnius Summit, there were still doubts about whether Ukraine would join NATO, after the summit, the question of when exactly Ukraine would become a member of the Alliance became relevant.

Nausėda also noted that before the summit in Washington, Ukraine should focus on implementing the Annual National Programme.

"It is important to pay attention to the implementation of the ANP; it is important that this programme is successful and shows Ukraine's desire to join NATO," Nausėda said. 

At the Vilnius summit in July, the Alliance, due to the resistance of the US and German leaders, not only refused to extend an invitation to Ukraine for membership but also set a new condition: to receive an invitation, Ukraine must fulfil the requirements of the Annual National Programme (ANP).

Late in November, at a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council, Ukraine presented an adapted Annual National Programme for further reforms in line with the Alliance's requirements. On this basis, NATO members will assess Kyiv's progress towards accession.

Read more: Road to NATO without Hungary’s Veto: Ukraine's Reform Plan Agreed with Alliance

If you notice an error, select the required text and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editors.