NATO failed to set a timetable for Ukraine’s membership in the summit
VILNIUS, July 12 (IANS) NATO leaders failed to set a timetable for Ukraine’s membership in the alliance, after the first day of a NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.
Speaking at a news conference, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that the allies had agreed on a three-element package to “bring Ukraine closer to NATO”. However, he made it clear that Ukraine’s invitation to join the coalition would be issued “when the allies agree and the conditions are met.”
“It is unprecedented and absurd when no time frame is given for the invitation or for Ukraine’s membership. While at the same time vague wording about ‘conditions’ is added even for Ukraine’s invitation,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted. He is scheduled to attend the inaugural meeting of the new NATO-Ukraine Council on Wednesday.
NATO members are divided on how to bring Ukraine closer to their bloc. While some members of Eastern Europe are pushing for an explicit commitment on when Ukraine will join, the United States and Germany are reluctant to elaborate, according to some reports.
Xinhua news agency reported that Stoltenberg said NATO leaders also approved “the most comprehensive defense plan since the end of the Cold War,” and endorsed a new defense action plan.
Under the new plans, NATO aims to have 300,000 troops fully operational. NATO allies have also made a “standing commitment” to invest at least 2 percent of their GDP annually in defence, even though after “nine consecutive years of increased defense spending” since 2014, only 11 of the alliance’s total members have reached 31 or more members. Goal.
Critics argue that such a focus on militarization fosters an arms race among member states, diverts resources away from social and economic development and negatively affects the quality of life of citizens.
Swedish expert Jan Oberg said NATO’s pledge to require its members to invest at least 2 percent of GDP per year in defense is “ridiculous”.
Oberg added that the military budget “should be decided according to a comprehensive analysis of threats, followed by a priority discussion, and never be linked to the economic fluctuations of the country.”
“What we’re seeing is rampant, exclusive militarism that doesn’t care about the other side or the consequences of its provocative policies,” said Oberg, director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research.
Analysts also warned that NATO’s expansion and response to the Ukraine issue could seriously threaten global security.
NATO is not a defensive alliance, though this is a consistent refrain of Western leaders, Sevim Dagdelin, a member of the German House of Representatives, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Meanwhile, the military agreement is involved in an aggressive arms campaign and thwarts all negotiation efforts related to the Ukrainian crisis, she said, accusing NATO of waging a proxy war against Russia by providing military aid to Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday accused NATO of treating Russia like an “enemy”.
“It is clear that we are talking about an assembly summit that has a clear and focused anti-Russian character,” Peskov was quoted as saying by local media.
He said that Moscow has witnessed repeated waves of NATO expansion towards its borders, and the West does not understand the dangers of this expansion.
Before the two-day summit, anti-NATO protests were held in several European countries.
To underscore that the summit will see “calls for further escalation” of the Ukraine war, the Stop the War coalition organized a day of peace protests across Britain on Saturday. Meanwhile, in Paris, a rally against the military alliance drew hundreds of people, many calling for France to quit NATO.