‘Security arrangements’ for Ukraine ‘do not substitute’ NATO membership, UK says
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Photo: EPA

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak agreed with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy that security arrangements for Kyiv are not a substitute for NATO membership, Downing Street said in a statement following the leaders’ meeting on Wednesday.

For in-depth analysis and longer stories, follow us on LinkedIn

During the meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit, Mr Sunak paid tribute to the courage and bravery of Ukraine’s Armed Forces on the front lines and discussed with Mr Zelenskyy the increasing progress of Kyiv’s counteroffensive.

“The [UK] prime minister welcomed the fact that the MAP requirement for Ukraine had now been removed, smoothing the path to full NATO membership in the future,” the statement read.

The two leaders also agreed on the importance of the “security arrangements” to be announced by the G7 this afternoon.

“Both agreed the arrangements will not be a substitute for NATO membership and looked forward to building on the new security framework as soon as possible,” Downing Street added.

At a meeting Tuesday, the North Atlantic Alliance’s leaders agreed to remove a membership action plan stage for Ukraine on its way to NATO membership, but did not extend an invitation to join, something that Kyiv has been hoping for.

Ukraine has repeatedly said that it wants to receive a political invitation to the Alliance at the NATO summit in Vilnius, although it appreciates that membership is out of the question until the end of the war.