As Ukraine eagerly anticipates a clear indication of its future integration into NATO from the upcoming summit in Vilnius, Germany plans to advocate for delaying such a decision. This cautious approach stems from concerns that Ukraine’s admission could potentially provoke a military conflict with Russia.
According to an unnamed source cited by The Telegraph, Germany aims to persuade other NATO member states to prioritize security guarantees for Ukraine instead of immediate membership. The source stated that Berlin is hesitant to offer instant accession and instead seeks a structured process and time frame to establish guarantees that would effectively impede Ukraine’s NATO membership. The source further emphasized that Germany wishes to avoid a scenario where Russian President Vladimir Putin would test Article 5 of the alliance treaty.
Article 5 of the treaty allows each member country to request military intervention from other allies in the event of an external attack.
The concerns voiced by Germany are reportedly shared by US President Joe Biden, who expressed a desire to prevent a situation in which “we would all find ourselves at war with Russia.” Biden recently stated that Ukraine is not yet prepared to join NATO and that it would take time for such a step to materialize.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan echoed Biden’s sentiments, emphasizing that the goal is not to initiate World War III and clarifying that Ukraine will not immediately become a NATO member following the summit.
According to The Telegraph, Putin has frequently asserted that NATO’s expansion toward Russia’s borders over the past two decades played a significant role in his decision to attack Ukraine.
In the meantime, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union are preparing a series of bilateral security offers aimed at assisting Ukraine’s defense in the absence of NATO membership. However, leaders of Eastern European NATO member states, including Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, are urging for Ukraine to be granted a roadmap to NATO during the summit.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba remains optimistic and believes that following the Alliance summit in Vilnius, “Ukraine’s path to NATO will undoubtedly be shortened.” Kuleba referred to the outcomes of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent diplomatic visits to several European countries, including the Czech Republic.
Kuleba acknowledged that while important decisions have already been made regarding Ukraine and NATO, there is still room for further progress. He emphasized that it is a critical moment to bring clarity to the situation and stated that missing this opportunity would be a gift to Putin at a time when he needs to face pressure on all fronts.