Lithuania: Expert assessments of NATO’s Vilnius summit vary

NATO’s summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, was “truly historic,” Lithuania’s former chief of defence, Lieutenant General Valdas Tutkus, stated, Baltic News Network reports. He noted that the Baltic States received new security guarantees. Tutkus cautioned that the most “populist” demands could, if things went awry, lead to another world war. He argued that not inviting Ukraine to become a member of NATO showed how seriously member states took the alliance’s Article 5 obligations. President Gitanas Nauseda’s chief national security adviser, Kestutis Budrys, told Ziniu Radijas that Ukraine has many more security guarantees now than it had before the Vilnius summit.

Meanwhile, Margarita Seselgyte, director of Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science (TSPMI), said that the summit’s final communiqué reminded her of NATO’s Bucharest summit, whereas the circumstances were very different now. Lithuania’s former foreign minister, Linas Linkevicius, said that NATO had failed to show courage and leadership by not inviting Ukraine as a member. He argued that the Vilnius declaration should assured that NATO would discuss the invitation as soon as Ukraine was liberated. As it is, Lithuania remained the only NATO member state to advocate for Ukraine’s early accession to the alliance, Linkevicius noted.