NATO to Upgrade Ukraine’s Partner Status Without Offering Membership – Reports

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ukrainian crisis, russia special military operation, russia-nato showdown

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – NATO plans to support Ukraine by creating a Ukraine-NATO Council during the July summit in Vilnius instead of giving it a concrete plan for becoming a full-fledged member, for which Kiev has repeatedly requested, the European news outlet reported on Friday, citing sources.

NATO diplomats told media that the alliance will have to find the right balance between maintaining the open-door policy and supporting Kiev’s aspirations without directly admitting the country to the bloc.

The proposed Ukraine-NATO Council should serve this purpose. Kiev will become a “full-fledged” party to the body and will have greater opportunities to communicate with the alliance, the sources said. Ukraine will be able to engage in closer intelligence sharing, joint exercises, as well as receive more options for financial support and development of its own armed forces in accordance with NATO standards, according to the report.

NATO diplomats also believe that this joint format will smooth Ukraine’s future transition to membership.

In addition, Eastern European NATO members are pushing the bloc to provide Kiev with a crystal-clear roadmap that will ensure its speedy post-conflict admission, while others, possibly including the most powerful nations, remain reluctant over the idea, arguing that the decisions of the 2008 Bucharest summit, which stated that Ukraine will join the alliance one day, are already quite sufficient, the report said.
In early May, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was clear that Ukraine would not join NATO until the conflict was over, but the country hoped to receive an invitation from its Western allies to join the alliance as soon as possible. Last month, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine would eventually join the bloc as all NATO members supported its ambitions. The idea was rejected by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
NATO flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.05.2023

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In September 2022, Zelensky announced that Ukraine would apply for accelerated NATO membership. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow was closely monitoring the situation, recalling that Kiev’s orientation toward the alliance was one of the reasons for the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine last year.





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