10 Jul 2023 14:49

NATO preparing assistance package for Ukraine - assistant secretary general

RIGA. July 10 (Interfax/BNS) - An assistance package for Ukraine is being prepared for the NATO summit due to take place in Vilnius on July 11-12, NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy Baiba Braze told BNS on Monday.

NATO as an organization does not provide military assistance to Ukraine; instead, it delivers medical equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles and anti-drone equipment, Braze said.

The summit will address political relations between Ukraine and NATO members, she said. This is the first time the countries will meet as equal members of the NATO-Ukraine Council, thus scrapping the earlier procedure by which NATO members had to convene a meeting of the commission whenever they wanted to meet with Ukrainian representatives.

Ukraine will also be able to convene meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Council as an equal and choose the topics for discussion or consultations, Braze said.

This will amount to a new level of relations, she said. The prospects for Ukraine's NATO membership will be discussed throughout the summit.

According to Braze, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has emphasized that Ukraine's place is in NATO, but the summit in Vilnius will not discuss Ukraine's admission. Instead, the sides will consider how to formulate the country's prospects for membership and what steps this would require. All of this is also being discussed, Braze said.

Another item on the summit's agenda is political relations with Ukraine and the status of NATO-Ukraine relations, she said.