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NATO summit: Ukraine moves closer to NATO membership

NATO summit: Ukraine moves closer to NATO membership NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attend a joint news briefing, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 20, 2023. (Reuters Photo)
By Agence France-Presse
Jul 11, 2024 11:25 AM

NATO countries agreed Wednesday to say Ukraine was on an “irreversible path” to membership in a final declaration from their summit in Washington, multiple diplomats said.

Diplomats said the final declaration which still had to be formally approved would support Ukraine on “its irreversible path to full Euro-Atlantic integration, including NATO membership.”

The declaration will also repeat the previous language that Ukraine will receive a formal invitation to join “when allies agree and conditions are met.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been pushing for membership in NATO, which considers an attack on one member an attack on all.

The United States and Germany have led opposition to immediate membership, believing that it would effectively put the whole alliance at war against nuclear-armed Russia, which occupies parts of Ukraine.

President Alexander Stubb of Finland which, like Sweden, joined NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine said he was “very happy” with the language.

“I think it’s very important to give a message to the Kremlin from here that Ukraine’s path and bridge toward NATO membership is now irreversible,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Stubb said, only understands “power” and will see the defeat of one of his goals of the invasion.

Putin wanted to stop NATO expansion but instead “Ukraine will become a NATO member,” and “Finland and Sweden became NATO members as well,” Stubb said.

Last Updated:  Jul 11, 2024 11:25 AM