The two-day summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization begins on Tuesday, July 11, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The leaders of its member states will discuss a wide range of topics, from the contradictions regarding Ukraine’s ambitions to join NATO, to the acceptance of Sweden, the strengthening of stockpiles of ammunition, and the most significant changes in defense plans in decades.
This will be the fourth NATO summit since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Among the 31 leaders of the Alliance states who will meet in Lithuania, the head of the White House, Joe Biden, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be in attendance.
Additionally, the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has repeatedly called for Ukraine’s early admission to NATO after the war, is also expected. The summit will be dominated by discussions on the war in Ukraine. Over the course of two days of negotiations, the leaders will address Ukraine’s potential NATO membership, which has differing opinions among them, as well as security guarantees and ways to protect Ukraine after the conflict with Russia. NATO member states are also expected to increase military aid to Ukraine.
The summit will host the first meeting within the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Council, a new format for consulting on security issues of common interest. In addition to Ukraine, the leaders will also address Sweden’s potential entry into NATO. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Monday night, after a meeting with Turkish President Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, that the Turkish leader has lifted the blockade on Sweden’s accession to the Alliance and agreed to submit Sweden’s accession protocol to the Turkish parliament for approval.