Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has expressed doubts about the security guarantees that G7 nations are set to offer Kiev, following NATO’s failure to provide a roadmap for Ukraine’s membership. The G7, a group of leading economies, is expected to issue a declaration of support for Ukraine on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lithuania, which includes commitments for security assistance.
Reznikov stated that he wants to see the “details and prices” of the proposed support from the G7 before drawing any conclusions. He emphasized that Ukraine cannot solely rely on paper commitments after the Budapest Memorandum. This memorandum, signed in 1994 by the US, UK, and Russia, provided security assurances and support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in exchange for them giving up their nuclear weapons. However, according to Reznikov, the obligations of the signatories were not met during the crisis in Crimea in 2014 when it voted to join Russia.
Ukraine had asked NATO for a roadmap to membership during the summit, but the military bloc declined and instead offered to let Ukraine skip the Membership Action Plan phase. While this gesture was seen as a positive step, it still requires Ukraine to meet certain conditions for membership candidacy.
Ukrainian President Zelensky criticized the outcome as “unprecedented and absurd” before the final NATO communique was released. The US delegation reportedly viewed Zelensky’s tweet as a last-ditch effort to pressure NATO into a more favorable decision for Ukraine.
Reznikov, as part of the Ukrainian delegation, attended the summit in Lithuania. During the event, he met with several Western defense officials and signed an agreement on the training of Ukrainian personnel in the use of Western-made fighter jets.
The skepticism expressed by Reznikov reflects Ukraine’s ongoing concerns about its security and the lack of progress in its bid for NATO membership. The country has faced ongoing tensions with Russia, particularly in the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. The G7 declaration of support provides an opportunity for Ukraine to receive assistance and assurance from its international partners. However, Reznikov’s call for “details and prices” highlights the need for concrete commitments and tangible support that goes beyond mere declarations.
It remains to be seen how the G7 nations will respond to Reznikov’s request for further information. As Ukraine continues to navigate its complex security challenges, the country will likely seek strong partnerships and tangible security guarantees to ensure its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The G7’s support is an important step in this direction, but the details and implementation of the pledged assistance will ultimately determine the extent of its impact.