UK NATO ambassador advises Ukraine to lower expectations of Washington summit

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Ukraine should not expect significant progress regarding its NATO membership application at the upcoming Alliance summit in Washington.

As reported by Politico, members of the Alliance will gather in the capital of the United States on 9-11 July, and although the question of Ukraine's NATO membership is likely to be discussed, UK Ambassador to NATO David Quarrey stated that Kyiv should lower its expectations.

"I do not expect a major leap forward on this issue, mainly due to the likely situation on the ground," Quarrey said.

At the same time, Quarrey said the UK is "absolutely convinced that Ukraine's rightful place is in NATO."

"It's a question of when, not if, and our work here is to continue supporting Ukraine as it approaches the Alliance," he said.

NATO allies have long expressed their support for Ukraine's membership in the Alliance but have not yet been able to offer clear terms for accession.

Quarrey  also expressed hope that US assistance to Ukraine would be approved "as soon as possible".

"We very much hope for swift progress on this package. It will be crucial both in terms of [tangible aid] and as a political signal reaffirming the West's unwavering support for Ukraine to bring this matter to a conclusion," he said.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that he expected military and political decisions to be made at the NATO summit in Washington.

At the 2023 summit in Vilnius in July, the Alliance, due to resistance from the leaders of the United States and Germany, refused to grant Ukraine a membership invitation. The summit also determined that Ukraine must fulfil the requirements of the Annual National Program (ANP) to receive an invitation.

But at the end of November, during the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council, Ukraine presented an adapted Annual National Program for further reform by the Alliance's requirements. Based on this program, NATO members will assess Kyiv's progress towards accession.

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