Allies divided over Ukraine’s prospects for joining the Atlantic Alliance
While the counter-offensive launched by Kiev seems to be marking time more than five hundred days after the start of the conflict, Ukraine will be part of all the discussions between the forty heads of state and government gathered in Vilnius on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday July 12, for the annual summit of the Atlantic Alliance.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to attend the summit on Wednesday, to inaugurate the first “NATO-Ukraine council”. But this political signal does not yet foreshadow the country’s entry into the Transatlantic Alliance, far from it. The “unity” shown in support of Ukraine is not enough to hide deep divisions among Western allies over its prospects for NATO membership.
Poland, and the Baltic countries, even France, since Emmanuel Macron’s speech in Bratislava on May 31, have multiplied the pressures, the hypothesis of a formal invitation to Ukraine to integrate the Alliance remains an unacceptable prospect for the United States and Germany, very anxious to avoid any form of escalation with Russia, while the conflict rages. ” I do not think that [l’Ukraine] be ready, ”said US President Joe Biden on CNN on Sunday.
In the absence of membership in the Alliance, kyiv’s main allies will, in parallel with the summit, try to offer it “security guarantees” in order to extend the aid provided on the military level. Very offensive in the discussions, Ukraine has sought to obtain substantial commitments from its various partners, for example by taking inspiration from the strong American guarantees given to Israel.