Zelensky Criticizes NATO for Weakness, Ambiguity, and Backroom Talks on Ukraine
President Volodymyr Zelensky angrily condemned the "absurd" invitation for Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) without specifying timelines and warned NATO members to treat Ukraine with respect.
The President of Ukraine made this statement on social media.
"It is unprecedented and absurd when there are no timelines for the invitation or membership of Ukraine. Moreover, vague conditions are added even for inviting Ukraine. It seems that there is no readiness to invite Ukraine to NATO or make it a member of the Alliance."
"This means that there is a possibility to bargain Ukraine's membership in NATO in negotiations with Russia. And for Russia, this is motivation to continue its terror."
"Ambiguity is weakness. And I will openly speak about it at the summit," the message stated.
President Zelensky expressed disappointment with the "vague wording" of the draft agreement, which is planned to be approved by NATO leaders at the summit in Vilnius.
According to the draft joint communiqué reviewed by the Financial Times, NATO "invites Ukraine to join the Alliance when the allies agree and the conditions are met."
The President of Ukraine noted that "certain formulations are being discussed without Ukraine," which do not clarify the prospects for his country's accession to the bloc. Kyiv wants specific commitments on when and how it can join the defense alliance. However, the Biden administration is among those who do not wish to put forth explicit prerequisites for Ukraine while the war with Russia continues. A key issue for the Alliance may be a preliminary agreement at the summit to reassure Kyiv and send a clear signal to Moscow. NATO member states also intend to discuss further military assistance and political support for Ukraine.
It is expected that NATO members will publish a document containing a shared position on Ukraine during the summit. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced today that the document will be released within a few hours.
As White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan informed journalists on Tuesday, President Biden will meet with Zelensky at the summit.