Zelensky says he understands Ukraine will be in Nato after Vilnius summit

KYIV – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the eve of the Nato summit that Ukraine will be part of the alliance and expects from the meeting an “algorithm” for Kyiv to officially join it.

“We are still working on the wording, that is, on the specific words of such confirmation, but we already understand the fact that Ukraine will be in the alliance,” Mr Zelensky said late on Monday in his nightly video address.

“And we are working to make the algorithm for gaining membership as clear and fast as possible.”

European diplomats said that Ukraine’s largest Western allies are still finalising a joint framework that would pave the way for long-term security assurances for Kyiv, and may wait until the end of the summit this week to announce them.

Negotiations among North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members are ongoing over when and whether to issue a formal invitation, what conditions Ukraine would have to meet and how its progress should be tracked.

Mr Zelensky said the Vilnius summit must confirm Ukraine is already “de facto” a member of Nato as it has its weapons and shares values with the alliance.

“Even if different positions are voiced, it is still clear that Ukraine deserves to be in the alliance,” Mr Zelensky said. “Not now – there is a war, but we need a clear signal. And we need this signal right now.”

US President Joe Biden will meet with Mr Zelensky one-on-one at the summit, a US official told Reuters, although Mr Zelensky is yet to officially confirm his participation in the 31-member alliance meeting in Lithuania on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, Mr Zelensky said only that Ukraine will hold a number of bilateral talks on the summit’s sidelines on more weaponry deliveries to Kyiv, including with the United States, European countries, Canada and Japan. REUTERS


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