Participating in a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on Tuesday (18 July 2023) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlined the major decisions taken at the Vilnius Summit to support Ukraine for the long haul.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participates in a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group
At the Summit, Allies agreed a package of three elements bringing Ukraine closer to NATO membership. First, they agreed to remove the requirement for a Membership Action Plan, changing Ukraine’s membership path from a two-step process to a one-step process. Second, Allies established the NATO-Ukraine Council, a joint body of equals for consultation and decision-making. The Secretary General chaired the inaugural meeting with the participation of President Zelenskyy in Vilnius. Third, Allies agreed a multi-year support programme for Ukraine, covering critical needs like demining equipment, fuel, and medical supplies. Mr. Stoltenberg said that the NATO programme will also focus on building interoperability and ensuring that Ukraine transitions from Soviet equipment and doctrine to NATO standards.
Looking ahead, Mr Stoltenberg said that Allies and partners will need to continue providing Ukraine with the military assistance it needs to prevail, and that NATO will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.