NATO summit to discuss Ukraine's membership, but not invitation – US Ambassador

Wednesday, 29 May 2024 —

Important changes in the wording regarding Ukraine's membership prospects will be made at an upcoming meeting of NATO leaders in Washington.

US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said at a press conference ahead of a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Prague that NATO has agreed on the need to send a political signal about Ukraine's pathway to NATO membership, and that this signal will be part of the overall package of assistance to Ukraine.

Based on her statement, there is already a decision in principle and a consensus on this.  Active discussions on this will continue in Prague.

"There will be some new language in the Summit declaration on Ukraine’s membership aspirations. It won’t look exactly like the language that we had last year (in Vilnius)," Smith said.


She noted, however, that the final wording has not yet been agreed upon. "That needs to be negotiated. There are some very important and useful ideas floating around the Alliance right now, some interesting proposals."

However, the ambassador stressed that Kyiv should not expect this discussion to result in a political invitation to membership – the most desirable outcome for Kyiv. "The invitation this summer will not be on the table; that is unlikely. But we are focused on this package of support that will help us build the bridge to membership," she explained.

An unannounced summit on the supply of shells for the Ukrainian Armed Forces has also been held in Prague, which included a discussion of permission to fire on Russia.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has asked the allies to review the constraints on the ban on Ukraine using Western weaponry against the Russian Federation amid border fighting in Kharkiv Oblast.

Discussions on the election of a new NATO Secretary General will also continue in Prague, with calls for one of the candidates, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, to withdraw from the race.

European Pravda will be bringing you all the latest updates on the talks.

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