Diplomats involved in the negotiations told the Financial Times this week that foreign ministers were discussing intensely in Brussels what exactly should be offered to Ukraine.
Allies agree that Ukraine’s NATO membership cannot be seriously discussed while the country is at war.
Two people who attended the meetings told the Financial Times that there was growing support for Ukraine’s offer of a “political path” to NATO membership at the Vilnius summit. This would strengthen relations between the coalition and Kiev. But the same sources said the United States, as well as Germany and Hungary, oppose the proposal.
The US objection stems from concerns that Kiev’s deepening of ties with NATO during the ongoing war could reinforce Putin’s narrative about the conflict between Russia and NATO and lead to an escalation of the conflict, including the possible deployment of nuclear weapons.
Instead, the United States is urging allies to focus on short-term military, financial, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine to help it resist and ultimately repel Russian aggression.
U.S. officials say the top priority at the Vilnius summit should be practical assistance to Ukraine, such as munitions supplies, and discussions about possible post-war political ties only distract from that goal.
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