NATO leaders have agreed at a summit in Vilnius that Ukraine’s future lies within the alliance but stopped short of handing Kyiv the invitation or timetable for accession that the country has been seeking.
At the same time, NATO dropped the requirement for Ukraine to fulfil a so-called Membership Action Plan (MAP), effectively removing a hurdle on Kyiv’s way into the alliance.
“Ukraine’s future is in NATO,” a declaration agreed by the leaders on Tuesday said, adding Kyiv’s Euro-Atlantic integration had moved beyond the need for a Membership Action Plan.
“We will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when allies agree and conditions are met,” the declaration said.
While leaders did not specify the conditions Ukraine needs to meet, they said the alliance would help Kyiv to make progress on military interoperability as well as on additional democratic and security sector reforms.