NATO Summit Won’t Satisfy Kiev’s Expectations – Ukrainian Spy Chief

The head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), Kirill Budanov, is “certain” that Kiev will not be invited to become a NATO member at the bloc’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania next week, The Times has reported.

“The NATO summit is quite difficult for me to commend, for a very simple reason: the expectations of our society will not be satisfied,” Budanov said in an interview published by the British paper on Wednesday.

“I’m sure some words will be declared, but nothing besides that. I’m pretty sure what will be spoken ahead; I have seen the drafts of the speeches [prepared for the NATO summit],” he claimed.

According to The Times, the spy chief sounded “momentarily more disappointed in the behavior of his allies than that of his enemies.”

The president of host nation Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, said earlier this week that Kiev would not be invited to join NATO at the gathering in Vilnius. However, he insisted that the bloc’s leaders would still “agree on those wordings that will not disappoint the Ukrainians and will say more than what we are used to saying.”

He noted that “there’s already agreement on the establishment of a NATO-Ukraine Council to strengthen Kiev’s integration into the alliance.” According to the schedule provided by NATO’s press service, the council’s first meeting will take place on July 12 – the second day of the event in Vilnius.

When asked about Kiev’s NATO bid on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre replied that Ukraine “would have to make reforms to meet the same standards as any NATO country before they join.”

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky earlier rejected any “substitute for NATO” being offered to Kiev. According to reports, Zelensky even threatened not to attend the summit in Vilnius unless the US-led bloc offered “concrete” guarantees or a roadmap to full membership.

Russia, which sees NATO as hostile and vigorously opposes its eastward expansion, highlighted Kiev’s push to join the bloc as among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine more than a year ago.

Reprinted with permission from RT News.

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