OAN Roy Francis
2:47 PM – Wednesday, July 12, 2023
This year’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, ended with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy receiving more pledges of weapons and ammunition from the West in order to fight Russia’s invasion, however, no clear timeline or path for his country to join NATO was given.
Zelenskyy, along with Ukrainian officials, had been pushing for its allies within NATO to draft language that would lay out a clear timeline and path for Ukraine to become a member of the organization.
Disagreements between NATO members reportedly disappointed the Ukrainian president.
An official announcement released by NATO on Tuesday stated that an invitation has not yet been extended, although they claimed “we will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine when allies agree and conditions are met.”
The United States and Germany had both refused to offer Ukraine a concrete pledge and invitation into the alliance. The disagreement led to Ukraine’s leadership reaching out to officials of both nations in order to express displeasure.
The disagreement and lack of clear path also led Zelenskyy to go on a rant about the NATO members on Twitter, saying that the lack of invitation and timelines are “unprecedented and absurd.”
“It’s unprecedented and absurd when time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership,” he said. “While at the same time vague wording about “conditions” is added even for inviting Ukraine … Uncertainty is weakness. And I will openly discuss this at the summit.”
The public criticism by Zelenskyy was interpreted as being unhelpful and unwarranted by his allies within NATO, especially while negotiations were still ongoing.
“We take the tweet as an unfortunate expression of frustration,” said a senior diplomat from Northern Europe.
“Our support will last long into the future. It’s a powerful statement of our commitment to Ukraine,” President Joe Biden said alongside Zelenskiy and leaders of the G7.
Biden went on to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming that he had underestimated NATO and how the Russian leader is “craven.”
“NATO is stronger, more energized and yes, more united than ever in its history. Indeed, more vital to our shared future. It didn’t happen by accident. It wasn’t inevitable,” Biden said. “When Putin, and his craven lust for land and power, unleashed his brutal war on Ukraine, he was betting NATO would break apart … But he thought wrong.”
Biden then promised Zelenskyy that the U.S. was doing everything it could to meet Ukraine’s needs, and that he looks forward to seeing Ukraine’s inclusion into NATO in the future.
“We’re going to help Ukraine build a strong defense across land, air, and sea,” Biden vowed, calling it “a force of stability in the region to deter against any and all threats.”
“Your resilience and your resolve has been a model for the whole world to see. I look forward to the day when we’re having the meeting celebrating your official, official membership in NATO,” he added.
During discussions regarding the possibility of Ukraine’s future NATO membership, concerns were raised that such a move could prompt Russia to prolong or even escalate the war. This worry led to NATO leaders asserting that the first condition needed, in order for Ukraine to join the alliance, would be an end to the ongoing war.
The Russian foreign ministry responded to the actions taken at the summit by saying that the member nations were reverting to “Cold War schemes” and that Russia would respond “in a timely and appropriate manner, using all means and methods at our disposal.”
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