The United States can offer Ukraine security guarantees similar to Israel, which do not involve joining NATO.
NATO summit in Lithuania
In Vilnius, NATO will present Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with a set of commitments from member states to continue delivering weapons, ammunition and money to the country over the medium term – regardless of the fate of the current counter-offensive or the election calendar.
NATO is also expected to elevate its relationship with Ukraine from the NATO-Ukraine Commission, founded in 1997, to the NATO-Ukraine Council, to a higher level of interaction and integration.
The question of how to determine the future of Ukraine in the Alliance has supplanted the second question – how to come up with long-term security guarantees for Ukraine. US President Joe Biden’s aides are telling members of Congress they want to move on to something akin to what they call the “Israeli model” of a 10-year security commitment with the US.
Security guarantees include the provision of military and financial assistance packages, the possibility of joint production.
The idea behind these security guarantees is to reassure Putin that the flow of arms and training for Ukraine will not stop.
But these are not the “guarantees” of security that Zelensky is striving for. Those who insist on increased commitment to Ukraine argue that only NATO membership and protection through collective defense can ensure the country’s security.
In the past 16 months, Biden has taken every opportunity to celebrate NATO’s unity on Ukraine. In doing so, he tried to maintain a status quo that had held for more than a decade: a vague promise that Ukraine would eventually join the Alliance, but with no set timetable.
Now a discussion has flared up among allies, putting pressure on Biden to support a much faster and more definite path to Ukrainian membership. For him, all options carry significant risks, since his desire to prevent any splits in NATO is contrary to his constant instructions from his staff to “avoid World War III.”
Many allies, especially from countries that border Russia, want to provide Ukraine with strong political membership commitments ahead of next month’s NATO summit in Vilnius. Some want to set a timetable and specific targets for genuine membership, but only after the war is over.
Only Germany has fully sided with Biden, although some of the other 29 allies have their own quiet doubts about Ukraine’s willingness to fully join the Alliance – and the risks that NATO countries could be directly involved in a conflict with Russia in the future.
At the same time, there is no consensus on how to strengthen commitments to Ukraine.
Perhaps the question of Ukraine’s path to membership became central during Biden’s June 13 meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. It is noted that Stoltenberg offered Biden a compromise proposal in which NATO would agree that Ukraine, which has field-tested NATO equipment and training, would not need to go through the standard membership candidate process before it could join.
Other officials said it would raise questions about what would replace the process, including getting assurances that Ukraine, which has problems with corruption and is under martial law, will not become authoritarian.
However, NATO is first and foremost a military alliance and includes numerous countries with controversial democratic records, including Turkey and Hungary.
Ukraine’s accession to NATO
Recently, Stoltenberg noted that the countries of the Alliance are not ready to agree on a date for Ukraine’s entry into the midst of the war .
At the same time, he stated that at the NATO summit in Vilnius, the allies would express firm support for Ukraine not only in words, but also in deeds, which consisted of significant military support.
At the same time, Zelensky noted that Ukraine needs clear security guarantees from the West, which will be recorded on paper .
Source : rbc.ua