NATO reaffirms plan to set up NATO-Ukraine Council, hold its first meeting on July 12
BRUSSELS (TASS) – NATO Has reaffirmed the plan to set up a NATO-Ukraine council and hold its first meeting in Vilnius on July 12, the second day of the bloc’s summit, according to the event’s agenda provided by NATO’s press service.
The meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council is set to happen from 13:00 to 15:00, with heads of state and government, including from Sweden, to be in attendance, the agenda showed. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg plans to deliver opening remarks.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said earlier that Ukraine would not receive an invitation to join the alliance at the summit in Vilnius, but NATO countries “will find in the days remaining before the summit the wording that will not disappoint Ukraine.”
There have been reports previously, citing officials from various NATO member countries, that work is afoot to convert the existing NATO-Ukraine Commission into the Ukraine-NATO Council. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that Ukraine should receive equal status with NATO countries in the council.
The idea of “equality” in the Ukraine-NATO Council is that formally all member countries in this council are equal, whereas the current NATO-Ukraine Commission has Kiev talking to NATO as a bloc.
The mechanism of equitable membership was invented in 2002 for the Russia-NATO Council. It was believed that the format would alleviate Moscow’s concerns about the alliance’s expansion.
All three Russian permanent representatives to NATO who served on this council (Konstantin Totsky, Dmitry Rogozin and Alexander Grushko) have repeatedly stated that speaking “on their own behalf” in the council, NATO countries have in reality always voiced the alliance’s consolidated position. Moreover, this body had no influence on decision-making within NATO.