Ukraine to be Admitted to NATO through Simplified Procedure - Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg held a press conference at the conclusion of the first day of the North Atlantic Alliance summit in Vilnius.
Allies agreed on a package of three elements that will bring Ukraine closer to the Alliance. Ukraine will be admitted to the North Atlantic Alliance through an expedited procedure, without a membership action plan, announced the NATO Secretary-General.
According to Stoltenberg, there will be a meeting of NATO countries with the participation of Volodymyr Zelensky tomorrow.
"We once again state that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. For Ukraine, it will be a single step, not a two-step process. When we reach consensus among NATO members, we will extend an invitation to Ukraine. This is a clear path to Ukraine's NATO membership," he emphasized.
Stoltenberg added that the package agreed upon by the allies today is a positive joint message of support for Ukraine and its path to NATO membership.
"It entails practical assistance to ensure full NATO-Ukraine interoperability," underlined the NATO Secretary-General.
Specifically, the requirements for fulfilling the membership criteria will be lifted, and instead, a multi-year assistance program will be established to facilitate Ukraine's transition to NATO standards and the creation of the Ukraine-NATO Council, which will serve as a platform for consultations in crisis situations. The first meeting of the Council will take place tomorrow with the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
"This is a robust package for Ukraine and a clear path to its NATO membership," assured Stoltenberg.
In addition, the NATO Secretary-General announced that a coalition of 11 countries will begin training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets in August.
Recall that some NATO summit participants have announced new military assistance for Ukraine. Different approaches to this issue are observed among the allied countries.
For example, although Germany opposes providing clear guarantees to Ukraine regarding membership in the Alliance, it plans to provide a significant military assistance package, including armored vehicles, air defense systems, artillery shells, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The total value of the military assistance package is approximately 600 million euros.
On its part, France intends to transfer long-range cruise missiles, known as Scalp, to Ukraine, enabling strikes on military targets in the rear of Russia.
At the same time, Poland is considering the possibility of deploying its troops to Ukrainian territory as peacekeepers, provided that the ceasefire is established.