Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, shared Ukraine’s expectations from the NATO Summit in Vilnius at the Atlantic Council discussion “NATO’s Vilnius summit: Ukraine’s future and the completion of Europe”.
“Decisions on membership, defence assistance to Ukraine or any other issues that will be discussed and adopted at the NATO Summit in Vilnius should be commensurate with the level of threats and challenges of the moment. It is not just that russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine has been going on for more than a year. The fact is that this is a war of destruction, of terror against the civilian population,” the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.
Olha Stefanishyna highlighted russia’s systematic and large-scale war crimes, including the killing of civilians and children, public executions of Ukrainian soldiers and torture.
She underlined that Ukraine’s victory on the battlefield was the only possible ultimate scenario for ending russia’s military aggression, and that bringing russia to justice for war crimes was an important element of the new architecture of security and stability in Europe.
“Any other agenda will lead to the weakening of the democratic world, to the weakening of us and all our efforts,” said Olha Stefanishyna.
The official recalled a letter to the Alliance signed by the President of Ukraine, the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada calling for Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
“When we talk about the need to invite Ukraine to NATO, we are talking, first and foremost, about Ukraine’s resilience after the war, laying the foundations for development and security. Ukraine needs to be protected. At the same time, it is also one of the integral elements in the creation of a new security architecture in Europe. We must learn the lessons of the past and leave them behind,” the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.
Olha Stefanishyna noted that it was crucial to provide Ukraine with security guarantees from its allies on the road to NATO membership.
“This discussion is ongoing in various capitals, and it is extremely important that now, after more than a year of full-scale war, we start strategic planning to provide Ukraine with the military assistance it needs. For as long as it takes. This is the element that should be included in the security guarantees,” she added.
The Deputy Prime Minister thanked American citizens for their support of Ukraine’s NATO membership. Thus, according to a poll conducted by Newsweek, more than half of American voters said they wanted Ukraine to join the Alliance.
Among the participants of the event were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Poland Mariusz Błaszczak, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis.
The event was organised by the Atlantic Council, an American think tank that studies international relations of the Atlantic community and international security issues.