Ukraine wins G7 security pledges but NATO membership remains elusive

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy answers a reporter's question as he meets with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit Wednesday in Vilnius, Lithuania. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed fresh pledges of weapons and ammunition to fight Russia’s invasion along with longer-term security commitments from the West on Wednesday even as he expressed disappointment over the lack of a clear path for his country to join NATO as the alliance wrapped up its annual summit.

“The Ukrainian delegation is bringing home a significant security victory for the Ukraine, for our country, for our people, for our children,” he said while flanked by U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders from the Group of Seven most powerful democratic nations.


A joint declaration issued by the G7 lays the groundwork for each nation to negotiate agreements to help Ukraine bolster its military over the long term. Zelenskyy described the initiative as a bridge toward eventual NATO membership and a deterrent against Russia.

“We will not waver,” Biden vowed after the summit in Lithuania ended. “I mean that. Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken. We will stand for freedom today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes.”

The Ukrainian and American presidents also met privately along with their advisers, and Biden acknowledged that Zelenskyy is sometimes “frustrated” by the pace of military assistance.

Zelenskyy thanked Biden, saying that “you spend this money for our lives,” and said shipments of controversial cluster munitions would help Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

It was a marked shift in tone from Zelenskyy’s complaints a day earlier, when he said it was “unprecedented and absurd” to avoid setting a timeline for Ukraine to join NATO.

Biden said Zelenskyy now understands that whether his country is formally in NATO is “not relevant as long as he has commitments” such as security guarantees. “So he’s not concerned about that now.”

On the final day of NATO’s summit, the alliance launched a new forum for deepening ties with Ukraine: the NATO-Ukraine Council. It’s intended to serve as a permanent body where the alliance’s 31 members and Ukraine can hold consultations and call for meetings in emergency situations.

The setting is part of NATO’s effort to bring Ukraine as close as possible to the military alliance without actually joining it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email