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Ukraine to be invited to join NATO when Allies agree, conditions are met – NATO Vilnius Summit Communiqué

NATO Ukraine flags
The Ukrainian and the NATO flags. Source: The Ministry of Affairs of Ukraine
Ukraine to be invited to join NATO when Allies agree, conditions are met – NATO Vilnius Summit Communiqué
NATO will invite Ukraine to join the Alliance when “Allies agree and conditions are met,” according to the NATO Vilnius Summit Communiqué issued on 11 July by NATO leaders. The Alliance reaffirmed that Ukraine’s future is in NATO, and said Ukraine moved beyond the Membership Action Plan, but the country still needs additional reforms. The declaration did not provide a timeline for Ukraine’s accession to NATO and clear conditions for its membership.

Here we publish the key Ukraine-related points of the Communiqué.

  • Russia is “the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
  • “Russia bears full responsibility for its illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, which has gravely undermined Euro-Atlantic and global security and for which it must be held fully accountable.”
  • “Russia must immediately stop this illegal war of aggression, cease its use of force against Ukraine, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its forces and equipment from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, extending to its territorial waters.”
  • “We welcome the strong support in the UN General Assembly for efforts to promote a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine. We welcome and support President Zelenskyy’s commitment in setting out the principles for such a peace through his Peace Formula.”
  • “We fully support Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defence as enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. “
“We fully support Ukraine’s right to choose its own security arrangements. Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We reaffirm the commitment we made at the 2008 Summit in Bucharest that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, and today we recognise that Ukraine’s path to full Euro-Atlantic integration has moved beyond the need for the Membership Action Plan. Ukraine has become increasingly interoperable and politically integrated with the Alliance, and has made substantial progress on its reform path. In line with the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine and the 2009 Complement, Allies will continue to support and review Ukraine’s progress on interoperability as well as additional democratic and security sector reforms that are required. NATO Foreign Ministers will regularly assess progress through the adapted Annual National Programme. The Alliance will support Ukraine in making these reforms on its path towards future membership. We will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the Alliance when Allies agree and conditions are met.”

“To support Ukraine’s further integration with NATO, today we have agreed a substantial package of expanded political and practical support. We have decided to establish the NATO-Ukraine Council, a new joint body where Allies and Ukraine sit as equal members to advance political dialogue, engagement, cooperation, and Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. It will provide for joint consultations, decision-making, and activities, and will also serve as a crisis consultation mechanism between NATO and Ukraine.”

  • NATO calls on China “to play a constructive role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, to abstain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way, to cease amplifying Russia’s false narrative blaming Ukraine and NATO for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine…”
  • “In the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, NATO-EU cooperation has become more significant. We have unequivocally demonstrated unity of purpose and common resolve in leveraging our complementary, coherent and mutually reinforcing roles. NATO and EU will continue to support Ukraine. In this respect, we welcome the establishment of the dedicated NATO-EU Staff Coordination on Ukraine.”
  • “We call upon Iran to cease its military support to Russia, in particular its transfer of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which have been used to attack critical infrastructure, causing widespread civilian casualties.”

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