NATO states may deploy in Ukraine to guarantee security: Former chief
Former NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen says it is very likely that countries such as Poland support Ukraine by sending ground troops to fight against Russia.
A group of NATO countries might take individual action by deploying in Ukraine, in case the organization is unable to provide the security guarantees that Kiev seeks at the upcoming summit in Luthiuana, former NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen stated on Wednesday.
Rasmussen mentioned that Poland has been actively assisting Ukraine and could potentially increase its engagement, followed by the Baltic states, including the possibility of deploying troops.
He emphasized the importance of security guarantees, including intelligence sharing, joint training, NATO interoperability, and the provision of ammunition and arms.
Rasmussen also mentioned that some NATO allies might support security guarantees to avoid a discussion on Ukraine's membership aspirations, hoping that providing security guarantees would suffice.
However, he believed that the issue of Ukraine's NATO membership would be raised at the summit, as several Eastern European leaders strongly advocate for a clear pathway towards Kiev's membership in the alliance.
He further noted that even if Ukraine does not receive an invitation to join NATO in Vilnius, it could potentially be extended in Washington next year, emphasizing that anything less would be a disappointment for Ukraine.
The alliance's leading military power, the United States, is hesitant to move beyond the pledge of membership given to Ukraine 15 years ago.
By joining the US-led military alliance, Ukraine would be subject to the alliance's Article 5 collective defense provision, which requires all members to assist in defending the country if it is attacked.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated at a conference in Brussels on May 24 that the Western military alliance's members are divided on what to do regarding Ukraine's bid to join.
"On that issue, there are different views in the alliance and of course, the only way to make decisions in NATO is by consensus," he said. "No one is able to tell you exactly what will be the final decision at the Vilnius summit on this issue."
"The ultimate security guarantee will be NATO membership, but... that's not something that will happen in the midst of a war," he added, stressing that "the question is, what will we decide on and how will we address the issue of membership at the Vilnius summit? And as I said, it's too early to say."