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Foreign policy experts urge NATO to offer Ukraine membership roadmap at Vilnius summit

NATO Ukraine flags
The Ukrainian and the NATO flags. Source: The Ministry of Affairs of Ukraine
Foreign policy experts urge NATO to offer Ukraine membership roadmap at Vilnius summit

In an open letter, 46 foreign policy experts called on NATO to offer Ukraine a clear path to accession at NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Politico published the full text of the letter on 5 July 2023.

The open letter was signed by US Army General Philip Breedlove, 17th Supreme Allied Commander Europe (retired); Stephen E. Biegun, former US Deputy Secretary of State; Ian Brzezinski, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO Policy; US Army General Wesley Clark, 12th Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Ben Hodges, former commanding general of the US Army Europe; Alexander Vershbow, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council and former NATO deputy secretary general; Kurt Volker, former US ambassador to NATO and former US special representative for Ukraine negotiations, and others.

“Vilnius can be a historic NATO summit. The above steps would bring closer NATO membership for Ukraine and, with it, the elimination of gray zones and ambiguous security situations that have proven to be an invitation to aggression. The result would be a more stable, secure, and prosperous transatlantic community,” the open letter stressed.

Record-high 89% of Ukrainians want to join NATO, poll shows

The recommendations stated in the open letter include the following:

  • offering Ukraine a roadmap to NATO membership
  • providing Ukraine with weapons and training to win the war against Russia as soon as possible
  • establishing a deterrence and defense partnership with Ukraine
  • upgrading the NATO-Ukraine Commission to a Council
  • reaffirming the commitment to meet Ukraine’s urgent military and defense equipment needs.

The NATO Summit in Vilnius is “a critical opportunity to deter Russia’s revisionist ambitions and secure Ukraine’s future in Europe,” according to the open letter.

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