Norway’s PM Confirms Ukraine Won’t Get NATO Invite at Summit

The alliance is reportedly planning to pledge more funding for Kiev and support its integration into the European Union instead.

NATO will once again refrain from inviting Ukraine to join the alliance, but will acknowledge the country’s desire to eventually join the US-led military bloc, according to Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

Speaking to reporters at the NATO summit in Washington, Store addressed speculation about the contents of a final communique.

“I don’t think there will be any invitation as a result of this year’s summit, but everything else will speak of such a future,” he said.

A leaked draft of the communique speaks of Ukraine’s “irreversible path” to NATO membership and demands that China stop supporting Russia, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

NATO also intends to provide Kiev with at least €40 billion ($43.3 billion) over the next year, establish a mechanism to coordinate the delivery of military aid and training for Ukrainian troops, and support Ukraine on its path to “full Euro-Atlantic integration.”

An invitation to join the bloc will be extended “when allies agree and conditions are met,” according to the draft seen by Reuters. 

The same wording was used at last year’s summit in Vilnius. Back then, the government in Kiev was furious about the lack of a formal invitation, with Vladimir Zelensky firing off a series of angry social media posts accusing NATO of weakness and cowardice.

Store also confirmed reports that Norway will donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, suggesting they would arrive sometime this year. He had first promised the jets last August, but had not specified the number or a delivery schedule.

Russia has repeatedly warned the US-led bloc that its financial and military support for Ukraine will only prolong the conflict but not change its outcome, while risking a direct confrontation. NATO has insisted that its military, political, and economic support of Kiev does not make it a party to the hostilities.