Ukraine reacts to results of the NATO summit. The Netherlands will train Ukrainian pilots, and Australia will send 30 more Bushmasters to Ukraine.
Ukraine reacts to results of NATO summit
The Vilnius summit communiqué issued on the first day of the two-day NATO summit gave Ukraine an answer to their key question. NATO did not offer Kyiv a timeframe or clear conditions to meet to gain NATO status, but it has removed the membership action plan requirement.
Earlier, on the first day of the summit, the leaders of NATO member countries vowed to send a “strong and clear” signal of support to Ukraine. NATO allies established a NATO-Ukraine Council, and individual countries pledged to increase support for Ukraine and maintain it for years. Yet reports by international and Ukrainian media were clear that the stance of U.S. President Joe Biden who is opposed to making promises of NATO membership to Ukraine, was decisive at the summit.
Speaking at a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Zelenskyi said the results of the summit were “not ideal”. “We have discussed our expectations of the NATO summit. The important result here is the recognition that Ukraine does not need an action plan for membership on this path. I would like to extend my words of gratitude for these important steps. I know how many conversations and arrangements were to be made to achieve that goal,” Zelenskyi said. “The results of the summit are good, but if there had been an invitation, they would have been ideal,” he said, smiling to Stoltenberg.
The allies offered Ukraine security guarantees on its path to NATO that will not replace membership in the Alliance, Zelenskyi said.
“We have some positive news on new defense aid packages from our partners. We already had some meetings on the sidelines of the summit, and we made some arrangements. I am grateful to all the leaders who offered us these aid packages,” the Ukrainian President said.
G7 countries have agreed a joint framework for providing long-term security pledges to Ukraine. The UK government called the “historic” agreement a “major step toward ending the war”.
NATO allies agreed to remove the requirement for a membership action plan for Ukraine’s entry into NATO. At the same time NATO leaders said they will invite Ukraine to join the Alliance when “conditions are met”, but not now.
Questions followed on what these conditions are. President Zelenskyi told a joint news conference with NATO’s Stoltenberg that Ukraine has no expectations of joining NATO during the war, but “understands” it will become a member once it is safe on its territory.
“We understand that Ukraine cannot be a member of NATO while the war continues on our territory. The bilateral meetings we had today gave us important signals that Ukraine will become a member nation of NATO when conditions are met. My understanding is that [it will happen] when it is secure in our land,” Zelenskyi said.
The Netherlands to train Ukrainian pilots, Australia to send 30 more Bushmasters to Ukraine
NATO countries will begin to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets from August, Ukrainian President Zelenskyi said after holding a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“We agreed to begin training of pilots in August. We are bringing closer the decision to provide modern aircraft to Ukraine. We agreed on the Netherlands’ contribution into strengthening our air defenses and artillery,” Zelenskyi said.
Australia will provide 30 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles to Ukraine as part of a new military aid package.
“Thank you! A powerful new defense package, including 30 Bushmasters. As always, there is also full political understanding between us. A successful meeting,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said on Telegram.
Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese confirmed that his country will provide 30 more Australian-made Bushmasters to support Ukraine. “This new military assistance package takes the total number of Bushmasters committed to 120,” he twitted.
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