Two-day NATO summit kicks off in Brussels: Envoy reveals Ukraine's goals
Due to the conflict with Hungary around the law on education, Ukrainian politicians since last fall have not been able to meet simultaneously with all their partners in NATO since last autumn.
At the NATO summit, held in Brussels on July 11-12, Budapest also managed to block the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC), Deutsche Welle reports.
However, the parties managed to find a format in which Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will be able to communicate with the heads of state and government of all 29 NATO member states. Another feature is that Georgian President Georgi Margvelashvili will also take part in the meeting together with Poroshenko. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on July 10 called these countries two of the Alliance's "closest partners."
Head of the Ukraine Permanent Mission to NATO Volodymyr Prystaiko assured DW that such a format would not prevent Ukraine from achieving what it wants at the summit. He even sees a certain symbolism in the meeting of NATO leaders with the leaders of Ukraine and Georgia exactly 10 years after the summit in Bucharest. As is known, both countries had expected to receive an Action Plan for membership in the Alliance then, but some of its states blocked further developments. However, all NATO countries agreed that Ukraine and Georgia would someday join it.
At the same summit in Brussels, neither of two countries will be invited to NATO, but a confirmation of the Bucharest pledge is on the agenda. And the confirmation that NATO doors are still open will be the decision to invite Macedonia, following a historic deal with Greece regarding the country's name. The negotiations on accession will begin if the name "Republic of Northern Macedonia" supports the country's population in a referendum.
In addition to confirming Ukraine's aspirations to join NATO, Prystaiko described two other goals Kyiv set for this summit. First, it is about the confirmation of NATO support for Ukraine in the wake of Russian aggression. It is about "non-recognition of the occupation of Crimea and the east of Ukraine," the call to release political prisoners, condemnation of the Kerch Strait bridge construction, stressing Moscow's responsibility for fulfilling Minsk agreements, as well as the support of a peacekeeping mission across the entire territory of Donbas beyond Kyiv control.
The second goal is the development of practical cooperation with NATO. The Alliance has been providing support to Ukraine, in particular, through 10 trust funds, also training Ukrainian soldiers and supplying equipment. "I am already receiving confirmation from nations of additional contributions, which will be announced during the summit," Prystaiko said.
For their part, representatives of Ukraine will not come empty-handed. The parliament of Ukraine has recently passed a law on national security. The fight against corruption is also important for the Alliance, so the adoption of the law on High Anti-Corruption Court may also see approval at the summit.
Both Prystaiko and DW sources in NATO are expecting a separate statement on Ukraine.