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Gi Ukraina rask vei til NATO etter krigen, forteller Litauens leder til allierte

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Lithuania’s president urged NATO leaders to be bolder in addressing Ukraine’s push for membership at a summit in his country next week, saying this would boost Kyiv’s battlefield performance while Moscow would see any caution as weakness.

President Gitanas Nauseda rådet NATO-allierte til å se bort fra frykten for at å bringe Ukraina inn i den USA-ledede militæralliansen ville provosere Russland, som invaderte Ukraina 22. februar 2022.

“We should not hesitate to take bolder decisions because otherwise the Putin regime will decide that the Western allies are too weak, (that they should be) pushed to the corner and they will surrender”, Nauseda said on Monday.

“Our stronger wording on Ukraine’s (membership) perspective would for sure increase the fighting spirit of Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield. And this is very important”, he added.

Ukraina har presset på NATO til å erklære på toppmøtet 11. og 12. juli at Kiev ville slutte seg til alliansen like etter krigens slutt, og å sette opp et veikart for medlemskap.

But other members such as the US and Germany have been more cautious, wary of any moves they fear could take the alliance closer to an active war with Russia, which has long seen NATO’s expansion as evidence of Western hostility.

Nauseda told Reuters that a promise of an easier path to NATO membership after the war and more military support pledges could be offered to Ukraine at the next week’s gathering.

“We have some countries which are cautious about the stronger wording on Ukraine’s perspective. But I already see some shift in the minds of their leaders”, Nauseda said.

Annonse

“We all understand that right now, in the midst of the war, Ukraine is not able to join NATO immediately. We understand that. Ukrainians understand that. But we need to create procedures, how to proceed … so there is no wasting of time if the war is over and victory is on Ukrainian side”.

Nauseda sa at han forventer at Ukrainas president Volodymir Zelenskiy dukker opp i Vilnius, til tross hans advarsler om at he sees “no point” in going if Kyiv is not given a “signal” at the meeting: “I hope he will be here and he will play an important role in the decision making in Vilnius”.

Several countries are readying an “additional portfolio of (military support) obligations” for Ukraine, to announce at the NATO summit, Nauseda said.

TYSK UTSETTELSE

Men muligheten for at Sverige er akseptert into NATO in Vilnius is getting “complicated”, and the chances it will be able to join at the summit are going down “with each additional day”, Nauseda said.

Sverige søkte om å bli med i NATO etter invasjonen, men Tyrkia og Ungarn har så langt blokkert ratifisering.

Nauseda sa at han forventer at Tyskland vil utplassere 4,000 soldater i Litauen, med familier og utstyr, innen ca. 2026-2027, i gradvis økning. Utplasseringen ble lovet av den tyske forsvarsministeren Boris Pistorius i forrige uke, og Canada tar beslutningen om å øke sine tropper i Latvia, sa Nauseda.

Den litauiske presidenten sa at vertslandet forventer provokasjoner, under og etter toppmøtet, langs grensen til Hviterussland, der den russiske Wagner-militsen har blitt tilbudt tilflukt etter det mislykkede kuppet.

“You can expect that the (Wagner) fighters can emerge at the border as migrants, as citizens of Belarus..… we can expect a lot of provocations there, especially ahead of Vilnius summit or afterwards. And I think this is a very important element of our security,” said the president.

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