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US envoy would not count on Ukraine NATO invitation at July summit

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The U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith, mentioned she doesn’t count on the alliance to challenge a membership invitation to Ukraine at its summit in Washington this coming July.

“As for the Summit this summer, I do not expect the alliance to issue an invitation at this juncture,” Ms. Smith mentioned on February 13, in response to a query on a name with journalists forward of a NATO Defence Ministers’ assembly on Thursday.

As it fights Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has made clear its purpose is to grow to be a member of the U.S.-led army alliance. Kyiv and a few of its allies inside NATO, notably in Eastern Europe, have pushed for a membership invitation whilst they settle for Ukraine couldn’t be a part of NATO whereas nonetheless at conflict.

At a summit in Lithuania final yr, NATO leaders mentioned Ukraine’s future was within the alliance however stopped wanting issuing an invite or setting out a timeline for membership. “We’ve worked very hard since the Vilnius summit last year to move out on a number of steps to continue to help our friends in Ukraine with the necessary reforms inside their own country to move closer to Euro-Atlantic integration,” Ms. Smith mentioned.

“And we continue to focus first and foremost on supporting them in the current fight and ensuring that they can prevail on the battlefield.”

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