„We are looking at the Vilnius Summit as if it was a strategic opportunity. (...) Some might have expected more from this meeting, but I think that strategically we won. We have committed that Ukraine will eventually become a NATO member. This is the biggest commitment and achievement from a strategic point of view“, said Mr Landsbergis at the public forum of the Vilnius NATO Summit.
He stressed that he disagreed with the public perception that the communiqué declared by the Vilnius NATO Summit was allegedly weaker than the Bucharest Declaration.
„In 2008, the consensus was weaker than it is now. Now the consensus and the consensus are much stronger and broader – we are not faced with objections from members in the room that no, we cannot accept Ukraine. There are no such people. So, this is a step forward“, noted Mr Landsbergis.
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister stressed that he was confident that the Alliance would be true to its word and would do its utmost to ensure that the Vilnius Summit Declaration on bringing Ukraine closer to NATO would be implemented.
„The Vilnius Summit is not the last stop – we see it as a bridge. The next stop is Washington. So we have a year, we have a lot to do, and we trust each of you to play your role well, to make Washington even more historic than Vilnius,“ Landsbergis said.
After lengthy negotiations on the wording of the Kyiv Transatlantic Perspective in the communiqué of the meeting, the Alliance reaffirmed that „Ukraine's future is in NATO“. It also agreed to drop the Membership Action Plan (MAP) and confirmed long-term military support. It was also agreed to establish a NATO-Ukraine Council formally and to tighten bilateral political ties.
However, expectations for an invitation to NATO remained unfulfilled, with the Communication stating that the way would only be open „when the Allies agree and the conditions are met“. However, the communiqué does not specify what the latter conditions are.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that it was „absurd“ not to set a deadline for Ukraine's membership of NATO. He said this even before the compromise wording in the communiqué was made public.