President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he expects a package of security guarantees to be adopted at the NATO summit in Vilnius.
“We need something more than the current format of relations. We want to understand when Ukraine will be in NATO. We want security guarantees along the way. At the same time, we are not preparing an alternative to membership and do not consider it as a compromise,” he said in Kyiv on Thursday after a meeting with Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, answering a question from Interfax-Ukraine.
“We will be in the Alliance. A package of guarantees along this path is what we would like to approve in Vilnius. For our part, we will prepare everything exactly,” Zelenskyy said.
According to him, “we are expecting steps from NATO. Steps forward and very concrete. We would like to understand for ourselves, for our society, that Ukraine will be in NATO.”
Stoltenberg invited Zelenskyy to take part in the NATO summit. “I am grateful for the invitation to visit Vilnius, but it is important that Ukraine receive an appropriate invitation. It is impossible to imagine the security of the Euro-Atlantic space without Ukraine,” the President said.
For his part, Stoltenberg expects that in Vilnius, members of the Alliance will reaffirm their support for Ukraine, which will be provided for as long as necessary. He said that Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO. We will make it possible, he said.
I expect NATO allies to agree to further strengthen the NATO package for Ukraine with even more support, the Secretary General said.
Stoltenberg acknowledged that the issue of membership, guarantees – this would be an important element of the agenda at the meeting, NATO is preparing for this. According to him, the main focus of NATO members is to ensure the advantage of Ukraine, so that Ukraine is guaranteed to continue to exist as a sovereign democratic state in Europe. The support we provide makes future NATO membership possible, he said.