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Left to right: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Ukraine) with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Source: NATO

Inaugural NATO-Ukraine Council meets

By Adam Riley Jul 12, 2023 | 2:00 PM

Representatives from the 31 member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are in Lithuania this week.

Among the many topics of discussion is Ukraine, which has been attempting to join, but roadblocks remain, specifically threats from Russia over Ukraine joining NATO.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced several measures to bring the embattled country closer to the organization, along with other supports, including the inaugural NATO-Ukraine Council.

“This is a forum where Ukraine and NATO allies will meet as equals. Hold crisis consultations and jointly take decisions.”

Other supports include assistance to transition Ukranian armed forces away from Soviet-era equipment to NATO equipment and standards to become interoperable with the organization.

As well there is a change coming to the membership path nations need to take to join NATO, including a reduction from a two-step to a one-step process.

Many NATO allies, including Canada, have reaffirmed they want the former Soviet Bloc nation to join.

“We will issue an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO when Allies agree that conditions are met,” said Stoltenberg in a release.

Adding this shift one the Membership Action Plan represents “a strong, united message from Allies on your path to NATO membership.”

He also stressed the need for “credible arrangements” to be in place to ensure Ukraine’s security when the war ends, which he welcomes the plan of many NATO nations that will see the commitment of resources for long-term security assurance.


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