, June 27, 2024

The Washington Summit: NATO-Ukraine

Jeffrey Clayton/Unsplash.com
Tidal Basin, Washington, DC
Tidal Basin, Washington, DC

NATO heads of state and government will gather in Washington on 9-11 July to mark the Alliance’s 75th anniversary. While a third year of full-scale war rages in Europe, they will need to guard the tone of their celebrations. But it would be remiss of the Allies not to recognise the importance and success of their organisation. NATO remains the essential transatlantic forum. It has had huge positive impact on security in Europe and elsewhere, built shared understanding and purpose among a growing number of members, and successfully adapted to decades of changing circumstances. There is much to applaud.

But there is also work to be done. The summit’s main business will concern Ukraine, defence and deterrence, and burden-sharing. While there are unlikely to be big announcements, the summit should play a significant role in ensuring that the decisions taken in Madrid in 2022, and Vilnius in 2023 are properly implemented. This series of briefs examines some of the key issues for the Washington Summit.

In the first brief of the series, Henrik Larsen looks at the additional steps NATO might take in Washington to help Ukraine defeat Russia’s aggression. There is seemingly no common appetite to advance Ukraine’s membership status, but the Alliance is likely to take a new role in coordinating the delivery of lethal aid. It may also agree an initiative to secure more stable longer-term financing of military assistance. Even so, it is hard to see that NATO’s support and solidarity represent a genuine commitment to Ukraine’s future security.

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