Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accepted an invitation to attend the NATO summit in Lithuania's capital, Vilnius in July, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.
"I have invited him to attend the meeting, and I'm glad that he has accepted the invitation and will attend the NATO summit in Vilnius," Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at the US's Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
Following the development, Zelensky said Thursday: "Now, when the majority of people in NATO countries and the majority of Ukrainians support the entry of our country into the alliance, it is time to take the appropriate decision."
Last week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine would not be satisfied with any other decision by the NATO summit in Vilnius, scheduled for July 11-12, other than an invitation to join the alliance.
Kuleba stressed that in Vilnius, NATO must decide what will happen in terms of security guarantees for Ukraine between now and the moment when Ukraine could possibly become a member of NATO, adding that Kiev will under no circumstances accept any "surrogate decisions."
In September 2022, Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine was applying to be fast-tracked to join NATO. Stoltenberg reaffirmed the bloc's unchanged position on the right of each country to determine its own path and on its "open door" policy but noted that the alliance would concentrate its efforts on helping Ukraine defend itself.