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NATO Offers Ukraine Military Support Against Russia but Postpones Membership Expansion

by Ryan Lee
7 comments
NATO-Ukraine relations

As the NATO summit concludes on Wednesday, leaders have expressed their readiness to provide Ukraine with increased military assistance to counter Russia. However, the issue of granting Ukraine full membership remains unresolved, with only vague promises for the future.

According to a preliminary agreement, Ukraine may join NATO “when allies agree and conditions are met.” This ambiguous outcome reflects the difficulty in reaching a consensus among current alliance members while the conflict with Russia persists, leaving Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dissatisfied.

While President Zelenskyy planned to attend the final day of the summit, he has been highly critical of NATO’s perceived reluctance to establish a clear timeline for Ukraine’s acceptance into the alliance, which he described as “absurd.”

The situation highlights the willingness of Western countries to provide weapons and support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, a role that NATO was designed for. However, the alliance is hesitant to grant Ukraine full membership and the accompanying security benefits.

During a speech in Vilnius on Tuesday, Zelenskyy expressed his “faith” in NATO but emphasized the need for that faith to transform into confidence in the decisions Ukraine deserves. He questioned whether this was too much to ask for, appealing to the soldiers, citizens, mothers, and children affected by the ongoing conflict.

Within the city, symbols of support for Ukraine are widespread, with blue-and-yellow flags adorning buildings and windows. Signs denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin and urging NATO leaders to expedite assistance for Ukraine can be seen as well.

However, caution prevails within the summit itself, particularly from U.S. President Joe Biden, who explicitly stated his belief that Ukraine is not yet ready to join NATO. Concerns regarding Ukraine’s unstable democracy and pervasive corruption contribute to the hesitation, as well as fears of triggering a broader conflict. Several leaders, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, caution against admitting Ukraine into NATO during the ongoing war.

Article 5 of the NATO charter mandates that members defend each other against attack, potentially leading to direct confrontations between the U.S. and other nations against Russia. Consequently, determining an end to hostilities poses a significant challenge, with officials refraining from specifying the criteria. This lack of clarity allows Putin to exert influence over Ukraine’s NATO membership by prolonging the conflict.

The commitments made on Wednesday include a new “framework” from the Group of Seven nations, addressing Ukraine’s long-term security concerns. The United Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry stated that the joint declaration by the G7 would outline how allies plan to support Ukraine in ending the war and deterring future attacks. This marks the first time that such a comprehensive, long-term security arrangement has been agreed upon with another country.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak added that support for Ukraine’s progress towards NATO membership, coupled with formal agreements and overwhelming support from NATO members, would send a strong message to President Putin and restore peace to Europe.

While international summits typically adhere to a rigid script, this one has fluctuated between conflict and compromise. Initially deadlocked over Sweden’s bid for NATO membership, leaders were relieved when Turkey unexpectedly dropped its objections on the eve of the summit’s commencement, leading to claims of success and unity in Vilnius.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hailed the summit as historic even before its commencement, stating that “rumors of the death of NATO’s unity were greatly exaggerated.” Meanwhile, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, dismissed concerns about disunity within NATO and emphasized the agreement reached regarding Sweden’s membership.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not commented publicly on the agreement, even during his meeting with Biden, where the U.S. President acknowledged “the agreement you reached yesterday.” However, Erdogan expressed enthusiasm for developing his relationship with Biden, considering previous meetings as “mere warm-ups” and initiating a new process.

The Turkish President has been seeking advanced American fighter jets and a pathway to European Union membership. While the White House has expressed support for both aspirations, it has clarified that Sweden’s NATO membership is not directly linked to these matters.


This report includes contributions from Liudas Dapkus, a writer for Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about NATO-Ukraine relations

Q: What military assistance is NATO offering Ukraine in its fight against Russia?

A: NATO leaders have prepared to provide Ukraine with increased military assistance to combat Russia’s aggression.

Q: Will Ukraine be granted full membership in NATO?

A: The issue of granting Ukraine full NATO membership remains unresolved, with only vague promises for the future.

Q: Why is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy unsatisfied with the outcome?

A: President Zelenskyy is critical of NATO’s reluctance to set a clear timeline for Ukraine’s acceptance into the alliance, which he considers “absurd.”

Q: What concerns are there about Ukraine’s readiness for NATO membership?

A: Western nations have expressed concerns about Ukraine’s unstable democracy and deeply rooted corruption, which may hinder its readiness for NATO membership.

Q: Why is there hesitation in admitting Ukraine into NATO during the ongoing war?

A: Leaders fear that admitting Ukraine into NATO could escalate the conflict and potentially draw the U.S. and other nations into direct fighting with Russia, invoking Article 5 of the NATO charter.

Q: What commitments were made to ensure Ukraine’s long-term security?

A: The Group of Seven (G7) nations have established a new “framework” to address Ukraine’s long-term security concerns and end the war.

Q: Is there unity among NATO leaders regarding Sweden’s membership?

A: Initially deadlocked, leaders were relieved when Turkey unexpectedly dropped its objections to Sweden’s membership, demonstrating unity within NATO.

Q: What is the significance of the G7 joint declaration?

A: The G7 joint declaration outlines how allies will support Ukraine over the coming years, marking the first comprehensive, long-term security arrangement of its kind with another country.

Q: What aspirations does Turkish President Erdogan have in relation to NATO and the EU?

A: Erdogan seeks advanced American fighter jets and a path toward European Union membership, but the issues surrounding Sweden’s NATO membership are not directly linked to these aspirations.

More about NATO-Ukraine relations

  • NATO Official Website: Official website of NATO providing information about its activities, member countries, and partnerships.
  • Ukraine-NATO Relations: NATO’s official page on Ukraine-NATO relations, offering updates and details on cooperation.
  • NATO Summit 2023: Official webpage dedicated to the NATO Summit, providing news and information about the summit proceedings.
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Official website of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, featuring his speeches, statements, and updates on Ukraine’s international relations.
  • Article 5 of the NATO Charter: NATO’s webpage explaining the significance and obligations outlined in Article 5 of the NATO Charter.
  • G7 Official Website: Official website of the Group of Seven (G7), providing information on their declarations, meetings, and member countries.
  • White House: The official website of the White House, providing updates on the U.S. President’s statements and foreign policy positions.
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Official website of the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, featuring his speeches, press releases, and diplomatic engagements.

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7 comments

Sarah123 July 12, 2023 - 8:58 am

g7’s long-term security framework for ukraine is a step in the right direction. hope it brings an end to the war. but will it be enough? #peaceinEurope

Reply
Mark_W July 12, 2023 - 9:54 am

turkey finally agrees to sweden’s nato membership. yay, unity! but what about ukraine? they deserve a chance too. come on, nato! #EqualOpportunities

Reply
Jane Smith July 12, 2023 - 12:42 pm

nato leaders worry about ukraine’s democracy and corruption. they want stability. but what about ukraine’s right to join? shouldn’t they focus on russian aggression instead of dragging their feet? #UkraineDeservesNATO

Reply
Lily23 July 12, 2023 - 7:35 pm

erdogan wants fighter jets and eu membership. is he using sweden’s nato membership as leverage? things seem fishy. #geopolitics

Reply
Alex July 12, 2023 - 11:36 pm

article 5 is a big deal. if ukraine joins nato, it could lead to direct conflict with russia. it’s a tough situation. nato wants to help ukraine, but not at the risk of a bigger war. #diplomacy

Reply
John Doe July 13, 2023 - 1:27 am

nato helping ukraine fight against russia but no full membership yet? seems like a half-hearted commitment. zelenskyy not happy. why no clear timeline?! #frustrated

Reply
DavidT July 13, 2023 - 2:00 am

great to see nato and g7 working together to support ukraine. hope it brings stability and peace. the world needs it. #Solidarity

Reply

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