Ukraine Wants Commitment on NATO Membership Bid – POLITICO

Ukraine’s ambassador to the alliance said, on Tuesday, that Kiev is seeking to comply with its aspirations to join NATO during a summit next month.

Speaking to Politico in Brussels, Ukraine’s ambassador to NATO Natalia Galibarenko said her country wanted “some kind of invitation – or at least a commitment”. […] To consider the time frame and modalities of our membership.”

NATO leaders will meet in Vilnius in mid-July for the alliance’s annual summit, and the issue of advancing Ukraine’s membership is set to be the most politically sensitive item on the agenda.

But Galibarenko, who has been representing Ukraine in NATO since 2021, offered a clear understanding of this possibility.

She acknowledged that for many “any commitment is a red line.” […] Because they think it is a burden for them.”

“I can get the point – I can’t stand it,” said Jalibarenko, stressing that “we’re realistic, we’re not paying now to give us membership.”

A number of Western capitals called for a serious discussion about Ukraine’s future place in NATO only after the end of the war.

Ukrainian officials say they understand the country will not join NATO while the fighting continues and that a direct invitation to join NATO is unlikely at the Vilnius summit — but they are still pressing NATO leaders to make a “political decision” on membership.

“Let’s make some kind of commitment, for example – when conditions allow, when the war ends,” said Jalibarenko.

There is pressure from both Kiev and many allies on NATO’s eastern flank for the alliance to bypass 2008 an agreement – It was announced during a summit in Bucharest – that Ukraine will become a member of the coalition and the next step will be the so-called Membership Action Plan (MAP).

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In recent days, the officials did float The idea that a compromise in Vilnius could be is to drop the requirement that Ukraine have a map of its path to membership.

When asked over the weekend if it would make it easier for Ukraine to join the coalition, US President Joe Biden said Shown He does not like abbreviations.

“I’m not going to make it any easier. I think they’ve done everything to do with demonstrating the ability to coordinate militarily, but there’s a whole problem of: Is their system secure? I think they can. But it’s not automatic.”

Asked about Biden’s comments, the Ukrainian ambassador explained that implementing reforms would be easier for Ukraine once it joined the club.

“I think the president is right in saying that there is a lot of work to do,” she said.

But the ambassador argued that other countries have recognized their shortcomings in the alliance. And some countries, like Finland, have gotten to skip the MAP process.

In any case, she emphasized, Kiev will continue to advocate for a closer relationship with NATO – while acknowledging current limitations.

“I try to be pragmatic,” said Jalibarenko, praising the expected NATO aid package, the “Defense Transition Plan” to help Ukraine’s armed forces modernize and a move to upgrade the current NATO-Ukraine Committee to closer NATO-Ukraine Council coordination. .

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently threatened Not to attend the Vilnius summit if he does not get a clear political signal from the coalition.

But Jalibarenko played it down, calling the planned new aid, NATO Council and Ukraine an “upgrade of our relations”.

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While the president “can never again go to Vilnius for a family photo,” she said the new support amounts to “a solid foundation for the next president.”

The ambassador said not having an invitation to join the coalition would be a “bad message”. But she said: “It wouldn’t be the end of the world if there wasn’t an invitation in Vilnius.” “So not today…but then maybe tomorrow, next year in Washington, who knows?”

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