scroll to top arrow or icon

Ukraine gets a NATO promise, sort of

​Handout photo shows Left to right: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Ukraine) with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Vilnius. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to the NATO Summit on Wednesday July 12, 2023, ahead of the inaugural meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Handout photo shows Left to right: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Ukraine) with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Vilnius. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to the NATO Summit on Wednesday July 12, 2023, ahead of the inaugural meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Photo by NATO via ABACAPRESS.COM

NATO allies will reportedly announce today that Ukraine’s progress towards joining the organization is “irreversible.” The language will appear in the joint communiqué released by the alliance to conclude its three-day summit in Washington.

But when, precisely, that irreversible momentum will culminate in a NATO membership card for Kyiv is still no clearer now than it was three days ago.

Reports suggest that the allies spent hours hashing out how explicit to make any conditions in the text, but there seem to be two main hurdles: ending the war with Russia, and getting Ukraine’s governing and military institutions up to NATO-level snuff.


Neither of those things will happen anytime soon, which is why NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was clear earlier in the week that Ukraine’s membership is, in fact, still far off.

For Ukraine, then, it’s a mixed bag. A great vote of confidence from the world’s largest military alliance, yes. But no actual deterrent against a Kremlin which will, naturally, view the language as a provocation.

The alliance has, however, redoubled its commitment to helping Ukraine defend itself, announcing a $43 billion aid package, while the US said additional air defenses – as well as the first batch of F-16 fighter jets – were all on their way to Kyiv.

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO's daily newsletter