NATO LIVE: Angry Zelensky accuses west of using Ukraine’s membership as a bargaining chip

NATO LIVE: Angry Zelensky accuses west of using Ukraine’s membership as a bargaining chip

Volodymyr Zelensky expressed anger at the 'disrespect' of NATO

Volodymyr Zelensky expressed anger at the ‘disrespect’ of NATO (Image: GETTY )

Ukrainian President has hit out at allies for giving “motivation to continue its terror”.

Speaking on Twitter, the Ukrainian leader demanded that Ukraine “deserves respect” after he said “vague wording” regarding the preconditions to their potential membership were being made without them.

While joining NATO during their fight with Russia is a recognised impossibility, since the alliance’s Article 5 would force all members to directly participate in the conflict the moment Ukraine became a member, effectively initiating World War III, Ukraine is adamant that a concrete plan for their accession must be put into place.

Back in 2008, at a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, the alliance promised that Ukraine and Georgia “will become members of NATO” but did not say how or when. Many now see that as the worst form of commitment; it’s lack of conviction serves as a red rag to Russia to invade.

Tim McNulty

Dutch PM Rutte praises UK’s leadership in responding to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine

During a bilateral meeting at the NATO Vilnius summit, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte lauded UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the United Kingdom’s leadership in responding to Russia‘s aggression in Ukraine. Expressing regret over Rutte’s impending departure from politics following his coalition government’s collapse, Mr Sunak praised Rutte’s service and conveyed the UK’s appreciation. Rutte, in turn, emphasised their joint efforts and commended the UK’s leadership in supporting Ukraine, particularly their collaboration on the fighter jet coalition which aimed to deliver state-of-the-art combat aircraft to Kyiv.

Tom Watling

Germany announces new £597 million military package for Ukraine

Germany has announced a package of further military aid for Ukraine that includes tanks and air defence systems.

The package, worth some £597 million (700 million euros), includes 40 extra Marder armoured personnel carriers, another 25 old Leopard 1 tanks and two Patriot defence missile launching devices.

Germany is already one of the biggest providers of military aid to Ukraine but its new pledge will make it the second largest supplier ahead of the UK.

The German Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that Germany also would give Ukraine another 20,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, 5,000 rounds of smoke ammunition, a reconnaissance and drone-defence package and a Luna drone system. There will also be five armoured recovery vehicles.

German officials had promised a substantial new military aid pledge at the NATO summit in Vilnius but made clear their continued reluctance to agree to Ukraine‘s request for Taurus long-range cruise missiles.

Tom Watling

France to send long range weapons to Ukraine

France will deliver deep-strike missiles as part of increased efforts to help Ukraine‘s counteroffensive against Russian forces, French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday.

France has been weighing whether to send Scalp missiles to Ukraine. They are the French counterpart of Britain’s Storm Shadow missiles, which the U.K. already sent to Ukraine.

Mr Macron said upon arriving at the NATO summit in Vilnius, “We have decided to deliver new deep-strike missiles to Ukraine” as part of beefed-up military support.

The French leader did not specify which missiles, or say when or how many would be supplied.

Mr Macron said the decision was made “in view of the situation and the counteroffensive being led by Ukraine” against Russian forces. He said in May that the longer-range Scalp missiles could help the counteroffensive, which is in its early stages.

Tom Watling

Biden meets with Lithuanian locals

US President Joe Biden has thanked Lithuania for its « warm welcome » as the NATO summit in the country’s capital gets underway.

Tom Watling

Sunak shares pictures of his arrival at NATO

Rishi Sunak has shared a photo of himself, the foreign secretary James Cleverly and the defence minister Ben Wallace arriving at the NATO summit in Vilnius.

Tom Watling

Here is a photo of all the leaders of NATO from the Vilnius summit

Leaders from all 32 members of NATO, including the newly-appointed Finland and Sweden, have posed together for the beginning of their summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.

ALL 32 NATO leaders gathered at the summit on Tuesday afternoon

ALL 32 NATO leaders gathered at the summit on Tuesday afternoon (Image: TWITTER )

Tom Watling

UK ‘leading’ an ‘Israel-style’ security deal with Ukraine

While it is believed the US and Germany remain hesitant about a fast-tracked NATO application for Ukraine, the UK is helping push a new security pact for Kyiv outside of the alliance.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the UK, US, France and Germany – dubbed The Quad – are looking to finalise a separate security deal to provide Kyiv with a multi-year plan to defend itself from Russian aggression.

It was reported that the deal would operate in a similar fashion to a military and financial pact that Washington has with Tel Aviv to afford it protection in the Middle East.

Mr Sunak said Britain had played a leading role in the discussions since he put the issue of multilateral Western security assurances on the table during his speech to the Munich security conference in February.

He told reporters he was “keen to try and get this over the line”.

“I think it is something that we in the UK have taken a lead on, it is something I’ve spoken a lot to fellow leaders about over the last few months,” he said. “Those conversations are ongoing so we need to keep having them, but that is the purpose of them.

“It is to demonstrate long-term commitment from a broad group of countries. It is distinct from the NATO conversation and I think it will send a very strong signal of deterrent to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, that he can’t wait people out, in terms of this conflict. I think it is important and valuable.”

Tom Watling

Estonia says NATO ‘owe Ukraine’ membership

Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas has said NATO “owe Ukraine” membership to the alliance after 16 months of fighting off Russian aggression.

As the NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital gets underway, Ms Kallas said Ukraine’s accession to NATO was “ the safest, cheapest, and most credible way of deterring Russia”.

It comes as leaders of the members in attendance at the summit continue to discuss possible ways of affording Ukraine assurances in light of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion.

#Ukraineu2019s rightful place is in #NATO.

NATO membership is the safest, cheapest, and most credible way of deterring Russia.

That is why it is so important to set Ukraine on a path towards NATO membership.

We owe it to Ukraine. Ukraine is fighting for all of us. 3/

u2014 Kaja Kallas (@kajakallas) July 11, 2023

Tom Watling

Sunak says Ukraine’s “rightful place” is in NATO

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has told the Daily Express that Ukraine’s “rightful place” is in NATO.

He said he wants NATO leaders to make “demonstrable progress” on allowing Kyiv to join the alliance, adding that a united alliance may convince Putin to reconsider the war in Ukraine.

Tom Watling

Stoltenberg hails Biden’s ‘strong leadership’

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has praised the « strong leadership » of US President Joe Biden ahead of the alliance’s summit in Vilnius.

The pair posed together for a photo, which Mr Stoltenberg posted on Twitter.

Tom Watling

Ukraine accuses NATO of being ‘afraid of responsibility’

A top Ukrainian official has criticised NATO for being “afraid of responsibility” in what appears to be a concerted effort by the country’s leading political figures to incite commitments from the alliance.

Mikhail Podolyak, the adviser to the head of Office of the President of Ukraine, issued a number of requests of NATO on Twitter just minutes after his boss, Volodymyr Zelensky, made a similar statement.

You can read the full statement below.

Today/tomorrow in Vilnius, NATO will be able to:

– regain its agency and independently determine its development strategy, disregarding the threats and prohibitions of the Russian Federation;

– correct the fatal mistakes of the 2008 Bucharest summit, when the open doors turnedu2026

u2014 u041cu0438u0445u0430u0439u043bu043e u041fu043eu0434u043eu043bu044fu043a (@Podolyak_M) July 11, 2023

Tom Watling

Zelensky hits out at NATO over lack of promises

Volodymyr Zelensky has hit out at NATO for alleged discusssion over the potential application without them being present.

You can read his full statement below.

We value our allies. We value our shared security. And we always appreciate an open conversation.

Ukraine will be represented at the NATO summit in Vilnius. Because it is about respect.

But Ukraine also deserves respect. Now, on the way to Vilnius, we received signals thatu2026

u2014 u0412u043eu043bu043eu0434u0438u043cu0438u0440 u0417u0435u043bu0435u043du0441u044cu043au0438u0439 (@ZelenskyyUa) July 11, 2023

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