NATO Summit in Vilnius

Tomorrow, a two-day summit of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, opens in Vilnius, Lithuania, which will mainly deal with the Ukrainian crisis.

The leaders of 31 NATO member countries arrived in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, one of the three former Soviet Baltic republics that gained independence from Moscow in 1991.

The two central points of the agenda on July 11 and 12 concern support for Ukraine’s attempt to move on Russia and the reduction of internal tensions, from replacing General Secretary Jans Stoltenberg, whose office has been extended for another year, to Turkey’s refusal to approve Sweden’s entry into the bloc.

According to rumors leaked from NATO and published by the British newspaper Financial Times, a broad agreement to support Ukraine will be presented in Vilnius. “This is all about a multilateral structure, ”wrote the Financial Times, “within which the signatory countries of the agreement will be able to assume bilateral obligations with Ukraine regarding military and financial assistance to Kiev. ”This agreement was facilitated by the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, and many other allied countries.

The formal entry of Ukraine into NATO is currently ruled out. US President Joe Biden wants to reiterate Washington’s unconditional support for Kiev “throughout the conflict.” But the White House appears to be cautious about Ukraine’s accession to the Alliance. Biden himself said that he “doesn’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war.”

Similarly, for Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the Italy-Slovenia-Croatia trilateral meeting in Ancona, “the right choice would be to create a NATO-Ukraine Council to pave the way for the future accession of Kiev, which must definitely happen after the war.” However, this does not mean that “there will be no attention to Ukraine or not everything will be done to guarantee the independence and freedom of the country,” emphasized Tajani, according to whom “the goal should be achieved gradually, in steps, which will also contribute to the achievement of peace.”

Finally, a sharp discussion is expected about the accession of Sweden blocked by Turkey. Ankara disputes Stockholm’s support for the leaders of the Kurdish opposition, which has been labeled a “terrorist organization.” On Monday, the day before the Vilnius summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Secretary General Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who tried, at the last moment, to convince Ankara to finally give the green light to the accession of Sweden.