Speakers of 6 countries: NATO must establish path for Ukraine to join

Speakers of 6 countries: NATO must establish path for Ukraine to join.
Speakers of 6 countries: NATO must establish path for Ukraine to join. Photo: Shutterstock

The speakers of the parliaments of the Baltic countries, Germany, Poland and Ukraine made a joint statement at their meeting in Riga on Monday, in which they call on the allies to undertake the commitment at the NATO summit starting on Tuesday that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.

"In light of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius we call on the allies to undertake the commitment that Ukraine will become a member of NATO and the alliance will establish a path for Ukraine to join NATO," the speakers of the six countries said in the joint statement, adding that Ukraine should be invited to join NATO as soon as conditions allow through a political decision similar to Finland.

The speakers welcomed the broad support for Ukraine's membership in NATO, as reflected in the Chair's Conclusions, expressed at the High-Level Meeting of Speakers of Parliaments of NATO countries held in Vilnius at the beginning of June, as well as in the statements of support by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the European Parliament and the parliaments of Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Ahead of the upcoming Vilnius summit, the speakers called on the allies to work closely to develop security commitments for Ukraine which will in no way be an alternative to Ukraine's membership in NATO and should not slow down Ukraine's progress towards membership in NATO. They also called for supporting the Peace Formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The speakers of the six countries believe it is necessary to continue taking coordinated measures to meet Ukraine's urgent needs for military and defense equipment, focusing directly on air defense systems, long-range artillery and necessary ammunition, tanks and combat aircraft. They call on assisting Ukraine in strengthening its defense capabilities and potential, including land, sea and air components, until Ukraine fully restores its territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognized borders of 1991.

They also consider it essential to establish a crisis consultation mechanism with Ukraine to conduct consultations in the event of a threat to the territorial integrity, political independence or security of Ukraine or any of the NATO member states, and to provide NATO's practical assistance to Ukraine by further strengthening the Comprehensive Assistance Package, aimed at achieving full interoperability of Ukraine with the Alliance and a comprehensive transition to NATO standards. In their opinion, the NATO-EU strategic partnership should be taken to the next level and the cooperation between NATO and EU should be focused on achieving truly tangible results on transatlantic security priorities.

The joint statement was signed by Lauri Hussar from the parliament of Estonia, Edvards Smiltens from the parliament of Latvia, Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen from the Parliament of Lithuania, Elzbieta Witek from the parliament of Poland, Barbel Bas from the parliament of Germany and Ruslan Stefanchuk from the parliament of Ukraine.

The speakers made the joint statement after a two-day meeting of the Baltic, Polish and Ukrainian speakers in Riga. On Sunday, the speakers visited the Latvian Song and Dance Festival and met with President of Latvia Edgars Rinkevics, with whom they discussed support for Ukraine.