This has been a red line since the beginning of the conflict: NATO cannot afford to officially go to war on Ukraine's side without triggering a generalization of the conflict. Nor does it have an obligation vis-à-vis Kiev, provided for in Article 5 of the treaty, which enshrines the principle of "collective defence", because Ukraine is not part of the alliance. But some of its members may be tempted to act independently, says former Danish secretary-general and prime minister Anders Rasmussen.
- Follow the news about the war in Ukraine with the application of Le Figaro
To our colleagues of the Guardian, the former statesman, who now acts as an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, does not exclude that several countries could send troops, if NATO does not provide concrete aid to Ukraine at the Vilnius summit, scheduled for July 11 and 12. These nations demand tangible security guarantees and an acceleration of the process of integration into NATO and the EU for the country attacked by Russia.
Poland and the Baltic States ready to send troops?
If NATO cannot agree on a clear path for Ukraine, there is an obvious probability that some countries will act individually, said the one who was secretary general of the alliance from 2009 to 2014. We know that Poland is very committed to providing concrete assistance to Ukraine, so I would not exclude the possibility of it engaging more frontally, accompanied by the Baltic countries, for example by sending troops on the ground."
" READ ALSO Anders Fogh Rasmussen: "The risk of a war in the South Caucasus is real and can not serve Europe"
These countries could decide "to gather a coalition of the willing" to support neighboring Ukraine, Rasmussen said. "The Poles consider that Western Europe has not listened to their warnings against the Russian threat" in recent years, warns the former Danish prime minister. They could therefore choose to play their own cards.
Guest of the podcast Brussels Sprouts, organized by the Center for a New American Security, the current head of NATO, Jean Stoltenberg, said that the Vilnius summit would send a strong signal of support for Ukraine. According to him, security guarantees will be on the agenda, but that NATO could usually only provide them to full members...
Many guarantees requested
Eastern European countries will certainly not accept this refrain, according to Rasmussen. They are calling for written security guarantees, including intelligence sharing, training of Ukrainian soldiers, improved ammunition production, NATO interoperability and an adequate supply of weapons. Beyond these guarantees, "a group of unconditional allies from Central and Eastern Europe demand a clear path for Ukraine towards NATO membership."
Read alsoThe Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Le Figaro: "The only real guarantee of security is Article 5 of NATO"
It is therefore to be expected that some countries of the alliance will put particular pressure on at the Vilnius summit. On the issue of NATO membership, they are nevertheless ready to wait until the Washington summit in 2024, according to Rasmussen.