Estonia Stresses Importance of Ukraine Receiving NATO Invitation
Following the adoption of the summit's final document in Vilnius, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas stated that it is important for Estonia that the final text includes the word 'invitation' for Ukraine and clearly outlines the 'journey,' practical steps, and a roadmap for Ukraine's membership, according to ERR.
Kallas emphasized that the disagreements regarding the promises made to Ukraine during the Vilnius meeting demonstrate that NATO member countries take this matter very seriously.
"I understand President Zelensky's disappointment because he wants to live in peace, like we, NATO members, do. But this is all we can offer right now," commented Kallas on the criticism from the Ukrainian president regarding NATO's decision not to provide Ukraine with a membership plan.
According to Kallas, offering Ukraine membership terms is not possible as it is contingent on the end of the war.
"No one wants to go directly into that war, and no one wants to expand Article 5 guarantees when there is a war. This is related to the end of the war, and that is why it cannot be written because it would require determining how and when this war will end," emphasized the Estonian Prime Minister.
"What we can do to stop this war is to support Ukraine so that they can organize their defense to push the Russians back onto their territory," she added.
In response, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margus Tsahkna (Estonia 200), commenting on the NATO communiqué, stated that the agreement among allies regarding Ukraine represents concrete steps towards Ukraine becoming a full member of NATO.
"The decision to abandon the membership action plan in the process of Ukraine's accession to NATO is a clear sign that we have moved away from the Bucharest decisions of 2008, and now Ukraine is closer than ever to joining NATO," said Tsahkna.
Recall that the NATO summit, which will last for two days, began in Vilnius on July 11. During the summit, the allies supported Ukraine's accession to the Alliance without the requirement of a membership action plan.
As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated, Ukraine's path to NATO will now consist of a single step, not two. Ukraine will be admitted to NATO through an expedited procedure.
The NATO countries also promised to invite Ukraine to join NATO if it fulfills a series of conditions.