Director: This is an editorial by Dagbladet, and expresses the view of the newspaper. Dagbladet’s political editor is responsible for the editorial.
Ukraine must swallow the bitter pill is not getting the security promises that President Volodymyr Zelenskyj had hoped for from the NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. But the pill is heavily sweetened with guns, and promises of support with guns and money, as long as it takes to fight the occupying Russian forces. And significant political integration into the alliance.
The reality of Zelenskyi is therefore a bit like the dilemmas of the anti-war novel Catch 22. To win the collective protection of the occupiers, he must first defeat the occupying army on the battlefield. And he has to do it alone. We’re talking about conflicting premises and a fairly straightforward Catch 22 dilemma.
Before the NATO summit Zelenskyy intervened, saying he needed security guarantees, while saying he understood Ukraine could not join the alliance while there was war. It was probably never relevant to give guarantees to Ukraine. This is too close to NATO’s sacred paragraph 5, that an attack on one is an attack on all. This could trigger a 3rd World War. Here, the United States and Germany have been the brakes, and have shown more restraint than the more militant Baltic countries and Poland.
At the same time, Ukraine demanded a clear timetable for membership and signaled that it thought the word “security guarantees” was too weak. Now they are getting neither, neither guarantees nor assurances are included in the summit communiqué.
And yet it is true, what both NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj say, that after the Vilnius summit, Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever. In Vilnius, a “Ukraine – NATO Council” was created, where member states and Ukraine meet, it was confirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO and will take the fast train to membership once the war is over, and will not need to go through integration into membership action plans, unlike other candidates.
It’s difficult to gauge what Zelenskyj would really be happy with from the two-day NATO summit. He walked out on a high note before the meeting, and left her proud and smiling, even though he was far from getting the security guarantees he said he wanted. US President Joe Biden emerges strengthened from the summit, as a unifying leader of the West, which put in place the stubborn Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, so that Sweden can finally become a member of NATO. And Jens Stoltenberg displayed a job satisfaction that tells us he hardly needed persuasion for so long to take another year as NATO chief.
“Hardcore coffee specialist. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Devoted internetaholic.”