Lithuanian parlt urges NATO countries to invite Ukraine to join at Washington summit

  • 2023-09-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Lithuanian parliament on Tuesday adopted a resolution expressing support for Ukraine's NATO membership and calling on the Alliance's member states to invite Ukraine to join the organization at its next summit in Washington, DC.

The resolution was passed with 122 votes in favor, none against and no abstentions.

"Ukraine is a provider of security, so its NATO membership will strengthen the Alliance and will be much more effective and less costly than the support currently provided to Ukraine to defend itself," the document reads.

"With full support for Ukraine through practical means, including NATO's political support, it is right to invite Ukraine to join NATO," it says.

Zygimantas Pavilionis, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, said while presenting the resolution to the parliament that four signatories to Lithuania's March 11 Act of Independence, Vytautas Landsbergis, Emanuelis Zingeris, Albinas Januska and Petras Vaitiekunas, had contributed to the document.

"What was not done in Vilnius, we hope to achieve in Washington in ten months," he said.

Pavilionis warned of a threat of a "bad peace" if Ukraine's NATO membership is not approved, which he said would also affect Lithuania's security. 

The resolution says that Ukraine's membership of the Alliance is supported by the "overwhelming majority of the public" and that NATO's summit in Vilnius in July stated that such a move will be possible "when allies agree and conditions are met". 

"Inviting Ukraine to become a NATO member will clearly confirm that Russia does not have a veto on NATO enlargement and cannot create grey security zones in Europe," the document says.

At their Vilnius summit, NATO leaders pledged to invite Ukraine to join the Alliance when all of the bloc's members agree and the country meets the conditions in terms of military and other domestic policy reforms.

Ukraine is seeking membership in the Alliance to ensure its long-term security, after more than a year and a half of efforts to fight back Russia's invasion.

Kiyv formally applied to join NATO on September 30, 2022.