Zelenskyy enraged by NATO leaders’ indecisiveness about Ukraine’s membership

NATO leaders summit angers Zelenskyy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was enraged by NATO leaders’ statements that Ukraine should one day be approved to join the military alliance but they refrained from issuing a direct invitation to Kyiv.

Tuesday marked the start of a two-day meeting with the leaders of the 31 member countries in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, as Ukrainian military struggle to make substantial progress in a counteroffensive against Russian forces occupying some of their country.

“Ukraine’s future is in NATO,” the leaders said in a declaration, but they offered no timeline for the process.

“We will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when allies agree and conditions are met,” the declaration said without specifying the conditions.

NATO did drop a requirement for Ukraine to fulfil what is called a membership action plan, effectively removing a hurdle on Kyiv’s way into the alliance.

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However, Zelenskyy, who was in Vilnius to address an enthusiastic Lithuanian supporters in a crowded city square before meeting NATO officials, looked to take a hard blow from the inability to go much beyond a 2008 commitment on future membership.

Zelenskyy had blasted NATO leaders in a post on Twitter before his arrival.

“It’s unprecedented and absurd when a timeframe is not set, neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership,” he wrote.

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