Headline RoundupJuly 11th, 2023

Zelenskyy Criticizes NATO's Reluctance on Inviting Ukraine to Join

Summary from AllSides News Team

NATO allies are reportedly considering “conditions” for inviting Ukraine to join the alliance, prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to label their reluctance as “absurd” on Tuesday.

For Context: NATO leaders, including President Joe Biden, met for a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on Tuesday. Zelenskyy also visited the summit, where leaders and diplomats discussed the question of Ukraine potentially joining the alliance sometime in the future. A draft statement reportedly circulated at the summit said, “we will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine when allies agree and conditions are met.” 

Key Quotes: In a tweet, Zelenskyy said the lack of a timeline for a NATO invitation, along with the “conditions” being considered, was “unprecedented and absurd.” Furthermore, the Ukrainian leader said the reluctance motivated Russia to “continue its terror” by leaving open the possibility of using Ukraine’s potential NATO membership in negotiations with Russia. “We value our allies,” Zelenskyy said, adding, “But Ukraine also deserves respect.”

How the Media Covered It: Sensationalist words like “blasted” were commonly used across the spectrum to describe Zelenskyy’s remarks. Some coverage from the right framed Zelenskyy’s criticism as being targeted specifically at Democratic President Joe Biden, rather than at NATO as a whole. While Zelenskyy did not specifically mention Biden, the U.S. holds significant influence within NATO.

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