Friday, February 23, 2024

Ukraine shouldn’t ‘expect a big leap forward’ at summit – POLITICO

Ukraine should not expect much progress on its membership bid at the upcoming NATO summit in Washington D.C., U.K. Ambassador to NATO  David Quarrey said.

Members of the military alliance will gather in the U.S. capital from July 9-11, and while the question of Ukraine’s membership in NATO will likely be discussed, Quarrey said Kyiv should temper its expectations.

“I don’t expect a big leap forward on that mainly because of the likely situation on the ground,” the ambassador told POLITICO’s Power Play podcast.

At the same time, Quarrey said, the U.K. is “absolutely convinced that Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO.”

“It’s a question of when, not if, and our job here is to continue supporting Ukraine as it comes ever closer to the alliance,” he said.

NATO allies have long expressed their support for Ukraine’s membership bid, but have so far failed to offer a clear timeline for entry.

Last year’s NATO summit in Vilnius ended without a clear declaration that Ukraine can become a member once its war with Russia ends, a non-resolution that angered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the time.

Almost a year later, as Ukraine continues to fight off Russia’s full-scale invasion and ongoing attacks, Kyiv is looking not only for political backing but also for financial support.

After the EU finally approved its €50 billion support package for Ukraine on Feb. 1, all eyes turned to the U.S., where $60 billion in military aid remains stuck in Congress. Quarrey said he hopes to see the aid pass “as quickly as possible.”

“We really hope to see early progress on that package,” Quarrey told POLITICO. “It’ll be very important both in terms of the substance, but also the political signal that it will send about the West’s enduring commitment to Ukraine to see this through.”

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