Ukrainian president says NATO summit results 'good' but not 'optimum'

Ukrainian president says NATO summit results 'good' but not 'optimum'

Results would have been 'optimum' if Ukraine had been invited to join NATO, says Zelenskyy

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AA) - Ukraine's president on Wednesday said that the NATO summit results are "good" but they would be "optimum" if Kyiv had been invited to join the military alliance.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy's remarks came in a joint news conference with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the NATO-Ukraine Council meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania's capital.

He underlined that the best guarantee for Ukraine is the NATO membership.

Ukraine will always contribute to the security of Europe, Zelenskyy said, adding that he is grateful for the three-part package "to bring Ukraine closer" to the alliance.

He also expressed gratitude for the elimination of the requirement of a membership action plan for Kyiv.

Responding to a question on the security guarantees for Ukraine, which is on the table of the Group of Seven members, he said if the members agree on the guarantees on Wednesday, "that could be the first legal document that shows we are under a security umbrella."

These guarantees would cover "all the aspects Ukraine had but also the ones that we are lacking," like air defense and aircraft, he added.

If the approval happens, those topics could be discussed on a bilateral level, Zelenskyy further said.

Regarding the NATO invitation, the Vilnius summit communique released on Tuesday underlined that the alliance "fully supports" Kyiv's right to choose its own security arrangements, adding that "Ukraine's future is in NATO."

However, it added that the alliance will extend an invitation to Ukraine when "allies agree and conditions are met."

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