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Russia-Ukraine War: NATO to Narrow Divisions Over Ukraine's Membership Bid in Oslo Meeting
The foreign ministers of the NATO countries are looking to narrow down the divisions surrounding Ukraine’s bid to join the alliance in the upcoming meeting in Oslo this week. This comes as Ukraine’s allies are also at odds over the calls to grant Kyiv a path to accession in the annual summit this year.
NATO foreign ministers will be gathering at a meeting in Oslo this week as they seek to narrow the divisions among allies over Ukraine’s accession to the alliance. The alliance has not granted Ukraine accession even as Kyiv filed to fast-track its bid to join NATO, as countries such as the United States and Germany are wary that granting Ukraine accession would bring NATO closer to an all-out war with Russia. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also made it clear last week that Ukraine will not be granted accession as long as the war is still happening.
However, Ukraine’s closest allies in Europe have pushed for at least granting Kyiv a path to joining NATO in the upcoming summit in Vilnius in July.
“It would be very sad if in any way anyone could read the outcome of the Vilnius summit as a victory of Russia in precluding Ukraine to join NATO one day,” said Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte Friday last week.
In 2008, NATO agreed on Ukraine’s eventual accession during the Bucharest summit. Despite agreeing to such, leaders have stopped short of giving Ukraine steps to take that would lay out a timeframe for when Kyiv would become a member of the military alliance.
The alliance’s foreign ministers are also expected to bring up the search for who would succeed Stoltenberg as NATO’s Secretary General at the sidelines of the Oslo meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said that Russia increased its military spending by 9.2 percent in 2022 to $86.4 billion, which is equal to 4.1 percent of Russia’s GDP, according to the British defense ministry on Tuesday. The ministry noted that the actual numbers are uncertain due to the lack of transparency and the increased classified budget lines since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.
Photo: US Department of State/Wikimedia Commons(CC by 2.0)