Speaking on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said NATO allies should finalize a security guarantee for Ukraine when the alliance’s leaders meet at a summit on 11-12 July in Vilnius, Bloomberg reported.
Sunak endorsed the idea of Ukraine eventually joining NATO but insisted there must also be a plan to bolster the country’s security before then.
“We need to think about the future of how we protect Ukraine’s security,” he said. “That’s a conversation that we should start having, because the Vilnius summit is a good place to conclude.”
In Munich, the British PM has called to send the most advanced weapons to Ukraine, said that the UK is willing to support those allies who will send fighter jets to Ukraine now, and called for a new NATO charter to help protect Ukraine from Russian aggression. Britain, however, has ruled out any immediate delivery of British fighter jets to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, US State Secretary Anthony Blinken said Russia must be prevented from repeating its aggression.
“We have to do everything in our power to make sure that Russia won’t simply repeat the exercise a year, five years later. And among other things, that means making sure that Ukraine has the capacity to deter aggression and, if necessary, to effectively defend against it,” Blinken said.
The framework for these security guarantees is still unclear, but they could involve a long-term partnership with NATO that would help Ukraine modernize and adopt NATO standards to build up its defense to deter any repeated Russian aggression.
“We need to ensure they don’t continue to take parts of Ukrainian territory, but this is also very much about how we cannot allow Russia to chip away at European security,” Stoltenberg said. “Therefore we need to ensure some kind of framework that prevents Russia from continuing this cycle of aggression,” he was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
Stoltenberg also called to “give Ukraine what they need to win and prevail as a sovereign, independent nation in Europe.”
The Munich Security Conference takes place on 17-19 February 2023.