Event Recap

New Atlanticist

Jun 22, 2023

Will Ukraine join NATO? Here’s a top Ukrainian official and former NATO leader’s game plan for the Vilnius summit.

By Katherine Walla

Andriy Yermak and Anders Fogh Rasmussen detail what they expect from the Alliance at the Vilnius summit, from security guarantees to a clear pathway for membership.

Conflict Crisis Management

The Atlantic Council hosted on June 21, 2023, a virtual #ACFrontPage conversation with former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who also previously served as Danish Prime Minister, and Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, on steps Allies should take to help secure Ukraine’s security and how to lay the groundwork for a productive NATO Summit in July. 

The first stage of Ukraine’s much-anticipated summer counteroffensive has commenced. Equipped with recently delivered Western armored vehicles, tanks, and ammunition, Ukrainian forces have made some advances on Russian defensive positions in occupied territories and are actively striking behind Russian lines. Given the circumstances of Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius holds added significance, as Allies are expected to discuss the steps they will take to strengthen NATO’s relationship with Ukraine and ensure the country’s long-term security.   

While the Alliance’s preparations for the NATO Summit have so far indicated a focus on modest steps, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has publicly campaigned for Ukraine to join NATO as soon as possible along a clear timeline towards accession. PM Rasmussen offered a thought-provoking contribution to the debate on this subject when suggesting that some NATO countries, recognizing the critical importance of defeating Russian aggression, might consider sending troops to help defend Ukraine. 

Against this backdrop, Rasmussen and Yermak, both authors of the Kyiv Security Compact, were joined by John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, for a virtual edition of #ACFrontPage.

An #ACFrontPage Event

Atlantic Council Front Page is our premier live ideas platform for global leaders to discuss the defining challenges of our time. #ACFrontPage is a high-level event series featuring top newsmakers across multiple digital platforms. Harnessing the convening power and expertise of the Council’s sixteen programs and centers, #ACFrontPage leverages the Council’s capabilities in social media, press, and digital outreach to spotlight the world’s most prominent leaders and the most compelling ideas across sectors and engage new audiences eager for nonpartisan and constructive solutions to current global challenges. This widely promoted program features the Council’s most important guests and content serving as the highlight of our programming.


Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Former Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Former Prime Minister of Denmark 

Andriy Yermak
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine  

In conversation with

issue spotlight

The Eurasia Center’s mission is to promote policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.