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Ukraine conflict: NATO deepens co-operation with Kyiv until it meets conditions for alliance membership

NATO enlargement from 1952 to the present. (NATO/Janes)

Allied leaders meeting on the second day of the 11–12 July NATO summit in Vilnius agreed to a multi-year assistance programme for Ukraine until it meets the conditions of alliance membership. “Our new multi-year programme of assistance for Ukraine will help you transition from Soviet era to NATO equipment and standards and will make Ukraine's forces fully interoperable within NATO,” the alliance's Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, announced at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Stoltenberg said, “Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever before. Allies reaffirmed that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance and agreed to remove the requirement for a Membership Action Plan (MAP). This will change Ukraine's membership path from a two-step process to a one-step process, and we will issue an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO when allies agree that conditions are met.”

The press conference was followed by the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council – “a forum where Ukraine and NATO allies will meet as equals, hold crisis consultations, and jointly take decisions”, Stoltenberg said.

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