Receive free updates on the Ukrainian War
I will send myFT Daily Digest E-mail summarizing the latest information war in Ukraine News every morning.
The G7 countries have agreed on a joint framework to provide long-term security for Ukraine, with the aim of turning it into a military fortress to repel Russian aggression, and President Volodymyr Zelensky said that this means that Ukraine will become NATO. He promised to help him on his way to membership.
The commitment includes the supply of “modern military equipment across the land, air and sea domains”, training of the Ukrainian military, information sharing and cyber defense support. In return, Kiev will undertake reforms, including civilian control of the judiciary and the military.
The pledge comes as President Zelenskiy attends a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Lithuania on Wednesday, stepping up support for his forces fighting a Russian invasion.
“We understand that the best guarantee for Ukraine is to join NATO. Hope to strengthen the relationship. [western] Countries have become even stronger,” President Zelensky told reporters.
Non-G7 countries are also encouraged to agree their own security commitments one-on-one with Ukraine.
“Today’s framework declaration and security will open up the possibility of strong bilateral commitments,” he added.
Zelensky’s remarks ahead of the official announcement were marked by the tone of the Ukrainian leader, who on Tuesday lashed out at the “absurd” decision by NATO allies not to offer Ukraine an invitation to join the alliance or when to join it. indicates that it has changed.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Zelensky to the summit. I look forward to the day when we can meet as allies.
Standing next to Zelensky at a press conference, Stoltenberg called for “a credible security arrangement for Ukraine so that history does not repeat itself.”
“Therefore, we welcome the commitment of many allies today to provide long-term security assistance to Ukraine,” he said.
On Wednesday, Mr. Zelensky attended the first meeting of the Ukrainian-NATO Council with leaders of all 31 NATO countries and Sweden, which is in the process of joining.
Western officials say the security effort will help Ukraine liberate territories occupied by Russian forces and modernize the country’s military. It will also help reassure Kiev that aid will continue regardless of political upheaval in Western capitals.
“We will help Ukraine build a military that can defend itself and deter future attacks,” said Amanda Sloat, senior director for Europe at the National Security Council.
The deal will provide Ukraine with more arms and other assistance over the long term. They are aiming to formalize the ad hoc announcement from the West and allay concerns of Ukraine and more hawkish NATO allies wanting a concrete path for Kiev to join the alliance.
The talks will focus on ensuring that Ukraine has a capable military and advancing reform agendas it says the United States and other powers need to eventually bring Ukraine into NATO.
Since Russia launched a full-scale invasion last year, NATO has blatantly refrained from providing military aid to Ukraine as an ally to avoid direct conflict with Russia. Instead, it left the decision up to the states.
Ukraine’s Western allies have contributed more than $160 billion in military and financial aid since the invasion. But the escalating conflict has led to an ever-longer list of equipment that Kiev needs to fight the Russian invaders. The latest and most controversial is a cluster munition called DPICM that the United States agreed to send last week.
“You know how are they [the Ukrainians]”Within minutes of getting the DPICM, they demanded the ATACMS missiles,” British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Wednesday. “But we are not Amazon,” he added, referring to the online shopping site.
A NATO statement released on Tuesday and first reported by the Financial Times promised to “extend the invitation” to join the alliance with Ukraine “if the allies agree and conditions are met.” President Zelensky criticized the statement, saying it did not clarify Kiev’s future status and would encourage Russia to continue its attacks on Ukraine.
Ukraine’s three priorities were “a new package of support for our forces on the battlefield, an invitation to join NATO.” . . “If the security situation permits,” Zelensky said, security would be guaranteed.
He then said he had spoken to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and had reached an agreement on “additional Patriots.” [missile defence] systems and missiles”.
“We have substantially discussed further long-term defense cooperation between Ukraine and Germany, including the function of a base for the repair of Western equipment,” he added.
Under Wednesday’s joint declaration, the G7 countries are also expected to expand training and military exercises and develop Ukraine’s industrial base, according to a British announcement of its plans.
The pledge is meant to mark Western powers’ long-term commitment to Ukraine, but NATO members remain divided over the country’s path to membership. But the security pact is unlikely to completely resolve the disagreements over Ukraine’s future among the 31 NATO members. Stockholm is expected to join soon after Turkey dropped its opposition to the Swedish bid this week.
This pledge is costly and requires consultation with leaders and their respective parliaments. Western officials have said the dialogue is intended to continue during member states’ election campaigns, but the plan is almost certainly susceptible to political instability.