Ukraine’s NATO membership in focus at Vilnius summit

Ukraine NATO membership - vilnius

This week, the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, will host a two-day summit of the 31 leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the military alliance’s members will work to put aside their disagreements over Sweden’s potential NATO membership and to reiterate their support for the conflict-torn Ukraine. They also hope to show that they are united in their resistance to Russia’s aggression.

“This week, at the NATO summit, we will strengthen our deterrence and defence, including with more investment. We will step up our support for Ukraine, and move Ukraine closer to NATO,” the military alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Vilnius.

“Lithuania seeks this summit to be remembered as the summit of decisions – not just declarations,” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said in a tweet on the eve of the summit.

Gaining confirmation for membership in NATO will be an essential decision for Ukraine after the Vilnius summit.

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In an effort to fortify its borders with Russia, Kyiv submitted an application for membership in the alliance in September.

Since then, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his officials, and Ukrainians in the nation and abroad have urged NATO countries to expedite Kyiv’s accession process.

However, despite a wide consensus to show steadfast support for Ukraine, NATO members are still split over the subject of awarding Kyiv membership in the alliance amid an ongoing war.

In contrast to NATO’s Baltic members like Lithuania and Poland, countries like the United States and Germany have demonstrated a restricted attitude towards the idea.

During a weekend interview with CNN, US President Joe Biden asserted that Ukraine and Russia were still at war and that if Kyiv joined NATO, it would draw the entire alliance into the conflict. Germany, Turkey, and some other NATO members agreed with Biden.

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