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NATO summit kicks off

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Washington, DC, July 9, 2024 (TDI): NATO leaders have gathered in Washington today for a three-day summit celebrating the alliance’s 75th anniversary.

The summit is expected to feature significant announcements supporting Ukraine, including the establishment of a unified command post in Germany to coordinate international aid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend, seeking additional air defenses following Russia’s recent missile attack on a children’s hospital in Kyiv.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has indicated that the alliance will adopt a five-point plan to bolster Ukraine’s defense against Russia.

This plan includes creating a command post in Germany with 700 personnel, led by a three-star NATO general.

The new command will centralize most international support for Ukraine, which is currently managed by the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

Furthermore, NATO will establish pledges among its 32 members to sustain military support for Ukraine for at least another year.

This initiative aims to set a minimum baseline for future financial assistance.

Although these measures stop short of granting Ukraine NATO membership, Stoltenberg emphasized that they bring Ukraine closer to integration with the alliance.

“These actions significantly advance Ukraine’s readiness for NATO membership,” Stoltenberg stated. “While language is important, our concrete actions are even more critical.”

Additional agreements expected at the summit include the provision of advanced weapons systems and enhancing the Ukrainian military’s interoperability with NATO forces.

By the start of the summit, around 20 allies will have signed bilateral security agreements with Ukraine.

Last month, President Joe Biden signed a ten-year support agreement with President Zelensky, reinforcing the U.S. commitment to Ukraine’s defense.

Read More: US and Ukraine sign 10-year security agreement

This summit occurs amidst intense pressure from Russian forces along Ukraine’s 600-mile front line, with Ukrainian troops fiercely defending against advances.

While the U.S. and NATO have asserted that Ukraine will eventually join the alliance, they have not established a concrete timeline, avoiding the invocation of Article 5, which mandates mutual defense.

Stoltenberg also highlighted the importance of defense spending, urging alliance members to exceed the current 2 percent of economic output target.

The NATO summit aims to solidify these commitments, ensuring robust and accountable support for Ukraine.

TDI
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