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Ukraine to be 'offered NATO-lite protection' instead of full membership after US and Germany block request
11 July 2023, 08:06 | Updated: 11 July 2023, 08:18
Ukraine is set to be offered NATO-lite protection instead of full membership after the request was blocked by the US and Germany.
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The “Israel-style” security guarantees will create a legally binding pledge by the alliance to continue existing military support for Ukraine.
The UK, United States, France and Germany will commit to a long-term plan to arm Kyiv as a stepping stone to membership, according to the Telegraph.
There will also be promises around the training of troops, intelligence-sharing and assistance with bringing armed forces in line with NATO standards, the paper said.
Germany's Olaf Scholz said the Israel model could play a "major role" in the ongoing discussions. The country is not part of the alliance but receives help to ensure it has a “military edge” in the Middle East.
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Rishi Sunak on Monday encouraged NATO to “come together like never before in support of Ukraine and with firm determination that Russia cannot succeed”.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to be among the leaders attending the annual summit in Lithuania this week where discussions will continue.
It comes after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan finally agreed to support Sweden joining the alliance after almost a year of stalling.
Speaking on Monday, NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg said the accession protocol to parliament would take place as soon as possible.
"President Erdogan has agreed to forward the accession protocol for Sweden to the Grand National Assembly [Turkey's parliament] as soon as possible and work closely with the assembly to ensure ratification," he said.
"Sweden and Turkey have worked closer together to address Turkey's legitimate security concerns.
"As part of that process, Sweden has amended its constitution, changed its laws, significantly expanded its counter-terrorism operation against the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party), and resumed its arms exports to Turkey."
Turkey and Hungary have been halting Sweden's admission to Nato since last year and have remained the only two nations to do so.