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NATO summit: G7 Leaders announce Ukraine security framework

Published July 12, 2023last updated July 12, 2023

The leaders of the G7 nations have announced a framework to protect Ukraine against any future Russian aggression. The assurances come after Ukraine missed out on a timeline for its NATO accession. DW has the latest.

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and US President Joe Biden announce security assurances for Ukraine
The Joint Declaration of Support to Ukraine comes after the country was not given a timeline for joining the NATO allianceImage: Kacper Pempel/REUTERS
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • The US Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Italy, the UK, and the EU have laid out a framework for defending Ukraine in future conflicts.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is holding a series of bilateral talks with the 31 NATO leaders amid frustration in Kyiv over not being given a clear timeline for joining the alliance. 
  • Officials say that the United States, Britain, France and Germany are expected to give Kyiv assurances of long-term security support in the near future.

Skip next section Live updates now halted
July 12, 2023

Live updates now halted

That concludes our rolling coverage as the NATO summit in Vilnius comes to an end.

Skip next section Biden vows unwavering support for Ukraine
July 12, 2023

Biden vows unwavering support for Ukraine

US President Joe Biden used a speech after the conclusion of the two-day NATO summit before a cheering crowd in Vilnius to vow that the West will not abandon Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.

"We will not waver," he said in the courtyard of Vilnius University, saying that President Vladimir Putin had expected NATO to "break" but "he thought wrong."

"When Putin, and his craven lust for land and power, unleashed his brutal war on Ukraine, he was betting NATO would break apart. He thought NATO would break. He thought our unity would shatter at the first testing. He thought democratic leaders would be weak. But he thought wrong," Biden said.

"The defense of freedom is not the work of a day or a year. It's the calling of our lifetime  of all time," Biden said, adding that NATO is "stronger, more energized and yes, more united than ever in its history."

Biden's speech aimed to rally allies and showcase his role on the world stage ahead of a 2024 re-election campaign focused on healing divisions at home and abroad.

Joe Biden at the Vilnius University
Joe Biden spoke at Vilnius University in the Lithuanian capital after attending the NATO summitImage: Petras Malukas/AFP
Skip next section Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks at NATO summit
July 12, 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks at NATO summit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the NATO summit following the announcement of a framework of security guarantees for the country against any future Russian attacks

NATO summit: Ukraine's President Zelenskyy

Skip next section Britain 'not Amazon' for weapons to Ukraine — UK defense secretary
July 12, 2023

Britain 'not Amazon' for weapons to Ukraine — UK defense secretary

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the United Kingdom was not an Amazon delivery service for weapons to Ukraine, suggesting that Kyiv could express more "gratitude" to its allies in the face of Russia's invasion.

"There is a slight word of caution which is, whether we like it or not, people want to see gratitude," Wallace told British media on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Vilnius

Wallace also recalled that, after receiving a list of weapons requests from Ukraine last year, he told officials in Kyiv: "I am not Amazon."

Asked about Wallace's remarks, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy "has expressed his gratitude for what we have done on a number of occasions."

Skip next section Erdogan says he will put Sweden's NATO ratification to Turkish parliament in autumn
July 12, 2023

Erdogan says he will put Sweden's NATO ratification to Turkish parliament in autumn

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would forward a bill to ratify Sweden's NATO accession to parliament when it reopens in autumn.

"There is a two-month parliament holiday," Erdogan said. "There a lot of legislative proposals to discuss" once lawmakers return in October, he added.

Speaking at a news conference after the NATO summit in Vilnius, Erdogan said Sweden would provide a road map for Turkey regarding the steps it will take against terrorism before the ratification. 

Erdogan also said he was "more hopeful than ever" for the sale of F-16 fighter jets from the United States after he held talks with President Joe Biden a day earlier.

Biden's administration will move ahead with the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey in consultation with Congress,
national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday, a day after Ankara gave the green light for Sweden to join NATO.

Turkey’s Erdogan backs Sweden’s NATO bid

Skip next section Macron says Russia is militarily 'fragile' while Ukraine has lasting support
July 12, 2023

Macron says Russia is militarily 'fragile' while Ukraine has lasting support

French President Emmanuel Macron said Russia was "politically and militarily fragile," while Ukraine had received lasting commitments of support from its allies.

"Russia has shown its first signs of division," Macron said at a press conference after the NATO summit in Vilnius, referring the recent failed mutiny by the mercenary Wagner group.

He also said the G7's declaration on a security framework for Ukraine showed its long-term support for Ukraine.

Macron added that he hoped Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would quickly ratify Sweden's entry to NATO.

Skip next section Stoltenberg says issue of NATO Japan office 'still on table'
July 12, 2023

Stoltenberg says issue of NATO Japan office 'still on table'

The question of whether NATO will open an office in Japan is "still on the table," Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the conclusion of the alliance's summit in Vilnius.

"The issue of the liaison office is still on the table," Stoltenberg told a press conference. "It will be considered in the future."

France has put a hold on plans for the office, stressing  that NATO should maintain its focus on the North Atlantic area. Other NATO members have stressed that the office would be small and focused on fostering regional relationships, and would not have any military role.

French President Emmanuel Macron said it was important that NATO remain true to its origins of being a North Atlantic-based organization, and that the alliance should not give out the impression of wanting to extend its geographical remit.

"Whichever way you look at it, geography can be stubborn. The Indo-Pacific is not the North Atlantic. Therefore we must not give out the impression that NATO is somehow looking to build up a legitimacy or presence geographically installed in other regions," Macron told a news conference at a NATO summit.

China said in May that such an office would not be welcomed in the Asia-Pacific region.

Skip next section G7 nations unveil security framework for Ukraine
July 12, 2023

G7 nations unveil security framework for Ukraine

G7 countries announced an international framework that paves the way for long-term security assurances for Ukraine to boost its defenses against Russia and deter the Kremlin from future aggression.

In a joint declaration, which other nations can join, the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Italy and Britain, as well as the European Union, said the framework encompassed elements including modern advanced military equipment, training, intelligence sharing and cyberdefense.

In return Ukraine, would pledge improved governance measures, including through judicial and economic reforms and enhanced transparency. 

US President Joe Biden said the G7 would assist Ukraine in building a powerful military while it waits to be allowed into NATO.

"We're going to help them build a strong capable defense across land, air and sea," Biden said at a ceremony with the other G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the NATO summit in Vilnius.

Biden said "Ukraine's future lies in NATO" and the G7 had made a clear statement that its support would last long into the future after the declaration outlined a multilateral framework.

"We’re going to be there as long as it takes," Biden said.

Speaking alongside Biden, Zelenskyy said the multilateral accord, which paves the way for bilateral negotiations with countries, was a "significant security victory" for Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the security pledges to Ukraine issued by several countries within a G7 framework were meant to be part of long-term strategy to support Kyiv.

"It is about a security partnership that's urgently needed and that will enable the participating countries to specify their contributions (to Kyiv), embedding these contributions in a longer-term strategy that Ukraine can rely on," he told reporters.

Skip next section Berlin scraps plans for joint tank maintenance hub in Poland
July 12, 2023

Berlin scraps plans for joint tank maintenance hub in Poland

Berlin said it would repair modern Leopard 2 tanks damaged in the war in Ukraine in Germany, as well as Lithuania, scrapping plans for a joint maintenance hub in Poland after arduous talks failed to yield a result.

"Leopard 2A5 and Leopard 2A6 tanks will be repaired in Germany and likely in Lithuania," a spokesperson for the Defense Ministry in Berlin said.

Following months of wrangling, Germany agreed in January to provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks, regarded as among the best in the West's arsenal, as part of its military support for Kyiv in the wake of the Russian invasion.

Germany has supplied around 20 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine.

Ukrainian troops eager to try Western tanks

Skip next section Zelenskyy warns G7 security pledge no substitute for NATO membership
July 12, 2023

Zelenskyy warns G7 security pledge no substitute for NATO membership

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he welcomes promised new commitments to his country's security by the G7 nations but warned that NATO membership was vital in the long term.

Speaking after talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Zelenskyy said the promises from the G7 should not be seen as replacing NATO membership "but as security guarantees on our way to integration."

His remarks came ahead of an expected announcement by the G7 group of major industrial powers of a plan for long-term guarantees to help Ukraine defeat the ongoing Russian invasion and deter future aggression.

Zelenskyy described the results of the alliance's two-day summit in Vilnius as good for Ukraine but said an invitation to join "would be the optimum."

"The best guarantee for Ukraine is to be in NATO," Zelensky told reporters, adding that he was sure that this would be the case "after the war."

Stoltenberg appeared to be supportive of Zelenskyy's desire, saying at a joint press conference, "Today, we meet as equals; I look forward to the day we meet as allies."

NATO rebuff: DW's Nick Connolly in Ukraine

Skip next section Zelenskyy thanks Germany for Patriot pledge
July 12, 2023

Zelenskyy thanks Germany for Patriot pledge

 German Patriot air defense systems seen at the airport in Vilnius
German Patriot air defense systems seen at the airport in VilniusImage: Janis Laizans/REUTERS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed gratitude to Germany for agreeing to send more Patriot missiles and launchers to help Kyiv's forces in their fight against invading troops from Russia.

After talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the NATO summit, Zelenskyy wrote on his Telegram channel that he and the German leader "continued the conversation about security guarantees for Ukraine on the way to NATO."  

"There is an agreement on additional Patriot launchers and missiles ... from Germany," he wrote, saying the weapons were "very important for protecting life in Ukraine from Russian terror."

He also thanked Germany generally for its "long-term support of Ukraine."

The Ukrainian leader also thanked Australia for agreeing to send further weapons.

 "Thank you! A powerful new defence package, including 30 Bushmasters," Zelenskiy said on Telegram after
a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The Bushmaster, known in full as the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle, is an Australian-built four-wheel drive armored vehicle used to transport infantry while shielding it fully from small arms fire and also offering reasonable protection from IEDs and ballistic weapons.

The additional Bushmasters, worth A$100 million (€60.7 million; $67 million), will mean that Australia has so far supplied 120 protected vehicles to Ukraine.

Skip next section China to figure on second-day summit agenda
July 12, 2023

China to figure on second-day summit agenda

Chinese warship near Taiwan-controlled Matsu Islands
China has been stepping up military activities, notably around TaiwanImage: Thomas Peter/Reuters

NATO leaders will be meeting with counterparts from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea on the second day of the alliance's summit in Vilnius to discuss ways of countering what it sees as China's dangerously assertive geopolitical behavior.

"China is increasingly challenging the rules-based international order refusing to condemn Russia's war against Ukraine, threatening Taiwan and carrying out substantial military buildup," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said this week.

"China's nuclear modernization is unprecedented in speed and scale and being carried out with no transparency," he added.

China has reacted angrily to a communique issued on Tuesday in which NATO said Beijing was challenging its security with its "ambitions and coercive policies."

At a regular press briefing on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin urged NATO to stop what he called its groundless accusations and provocative remarks against the country.

Skip next section G7 set to give security commitments to Ukraine
July 12, 2023

G7 set to give security commitments to Ukraine

Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden in Vilnius
The UK's Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden are adamant supporters of Kyiv as it fights Moscow's invasionImage: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

The Group of Seven (G7) is to announce a set of security commitments for a post-war Ukraine following NATO's reticence over Ukrainian membership of the military alliance, officials say.

The top White House adviser for European affairs, Amanda Sloat, said the "multilateral declaration will send a significant signal to Russia that time is not on its side."

The G7 is made up of some of the world's leading economies: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.  

The British Foreign Ministry said the G7 would "set out how allies will support Ukraine over the coming years to end the war and deter and respond to any future attack."  

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a staunch supporter of Kyiv, said, "As Ukraine makes strategic progress in their counteroffensive, and the degradation of Russian forces begins to infect Putin’s front line, we are stepping up our formal arrangements to protect Ukraine for the long term."

In 2014, Russia was suspended from what was then the G8 after annexing the region of Crimea illegally from Ukraine and permanently left the body of its own volition in 2018.

Skip next section Ukraine's Zelenskyy to meet with NATO leaders
July 12, 2023

Ukraine's Zelenskyy to meet with NATO leaders

Volodymyr Zelenskyy talking in Bulgaria on July 6
Zelenskyy has expressed frustration at the lack of a concrete timeline for NATO accessionImage: Georgi Paleykov/NurPhoto/picture alliance

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is to hold several bilateral meetings with NATO leaders on Wednesday, a day after the military alliance told Kyiv that while Ukraine's future lay within the alliance, it still had to meet a number of preconditions.

Zelenskyy will also join the 31 leaders at the inaugural session of the NATO-Ukraine Council. This body has been set up to upgrade relations between Kyiv and the trans-Atlantic military alliance, among other things allowing all parties to convene crisis talks if their security is threatened.

In one important meeting, the Ukrainian leader is to hold talks with US President Joe Biden.

The US has been one of the prime providers of military support to Kyiv as it seeks to defend itself against an unprovoked and illegal invasion by Russian forces launched in February last year.

Writing on his Telegram channel, Zelenskyy outlined his priorities on the second day of the summit: "new support packages for our army on the battlefield"; assurances from NATO "that we have this invitation [to join] for when the security situation allows it; and "security guarantees for Ukraine on the way to NATO."

NATO extends vague promise of membership to Ukraine

  tj/sms (AP, Reuters, dpa, AFP)