The inaugural meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council is being held in Vilnius under the chairmanship of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and with the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the level of heads of state and government of NATO member states.
“Welcome to this first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council. This is truly a historic moment – Allies and Ukraine sitting side by side as equals to address our common vision of Euro-Atlantic security. And I’m really honoured to welcome in our midst our dear friend Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine. Welcome to you, Volodymyr, it’s great to have you here,” the NATO Secretary General said opening the meeting. These words were met with applause.
Stoltenberg also said the allies should expand support to help Ukraine “liberate its lands and deter future Russian aggression.” “At this Summit, we have reaffirmed that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance and we have made decisions to bring Ukraine closer to NATO. Today we meet as equals. And I look forward to the day we meet as Allies,” he said.
At a large round table, Zelenskyy is sitting between Turkey and the UK – Ukraine is represented in alphabetical order.
As is known, the decision to create the Ukraine-NATO Council, which replaced the Ukraine-NATO Commission, was formally approved by the heads of state and government of the Alliance member countries on the first day of the summit.