Ukraine’s NATO Membership Hopes Dashed Ahead of Summit

Kiev won’t receive an invitation to join the bloc at next month’s meeting because the US won’t support it, the top diplomat has said

Ukraine will not receive an invitation to join NATO at the bloc’s summit next month, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron has said. He stated that Ukraine can only expect a strong declaration of support concerning its conflict with Moscow.

In a phone call with Russian prankster duo Vovan and Lexus – one of whom posed as former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko – which was made public on Wednesday, Cameron confirmed that Ukraine should not anticipate joining NATO when the military bloc’s leaders convene in Washington July 9-11.

”There is not going to be an invitation because America won’t support one,” Cameron said, adding that he informed Ukraine’s President Zelensky that Kiev and the West should collaborate to formulate the best possible wording regarding NATO’s support for the country and its eventual inclusion in the bloc.

”But we can’t have an argument between NATO and Ukraine before the summit… Let’s make sure we go into the conference united. We can’t afford a sort of public argument about where Ukraine is vis-à-vis NATO in the run-up to the July summit,” the foreign secretary said, stating that he personally supports the country’s accession to the US-led military bloc. “I’m sure it will happen. But we are not going to get there this time.”

NATO first announced that Ukraine would become a member of the bloc back in 2008, without giving an exact timeline. In 2019, after the Western-backed coup in Kiev several years prior, Ukraine officially declared NATO membership to be a strategic objective. In 2022, after the conflict with Russia escalated and four of its former regions voted to join the neighboring country, Ukraine formally applied to join the bloc.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has stated that Ukraine will not be able to join the bloc while it is embroiled in the conflict, amid widespread concerns that the move could trigger a direct clash with Russia.

Moscow has for years sounded the alarm about NATO’s expansion towards its borders, with President Vladimir Putin citing Ukraine’s aspirations to join the bloc as one of the main reasons for the conflict. Earlier this month, Putin said Russia is ready to begin peace talks with Ukraine once it withdraws from its four former regions and commits to neutrality. Both Kiev and its Western backers have rejected the offer.