Why in News
-The 2023 NATO summit took place from 11–12 July 2023, in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
- The 2022 summit was held in Madrid, Spain.
– The participating leaders discussed the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as Ukraine and Sweden’s prospective memberships into NATO.
New forum for deepening ties with Ukraine
- NATO leaders launched a new forum for deepening ties with Ukraine, known as the NATO-Ukraine Council.
- This council is intended to serve as a permanent body where the alliance’s 31 members and Ukraine can hold consultations and call for meetings in emergency situations.
- The setting is part of NATO’s effort to bring Ukraine as close as possible to the military alliance without actually joining it.
Ukraine won new security assurances from the U.S. and its allies
- A joint declaration issued by the G-7, issued during the summit, lays the groundwork for each nation to negotiate agreements to help Ukraine bolster its military over the long term.
No clear path for Ukraine’s membership in NATO
– The summit did not provide a firm timeline for when the Ukrainians will become official members.
– In their communiqué summarizing the summit’s conclusions, the leaders said that Ukraine can join when allies agree and conditions are met.
- Experts say that quick admittance of Ukraine to NATO could potentially increase Russian aggression and drag out the war even farther.
- Hence, the membership of Ukraine is being delayed.
Membership of Sweden
- Recently, Turkey withdrew its objections to Sweden joining the alliance.
- This paves ways for Sweden to join the alliance as the new entries must be approved by all existing members.
- NATO had formally invited Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance at Madrid summit held in 2022.
- However, Turkey had raised objection regarding the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO.
– Turkey, which has been a member of NATO since 1952, had repeatedly opposed Finland and Sweden’s entry.
– It accused the two Nordic countries of supporting Kurdish militant groups. which it deems to be terrorist organizations.
- In March 2023, Tukey withdrew its objection to Finland and later, in April 2023, Finland became the 31st member of grouping.