Future Reviewer

What Did the NATO Summit Change for Ukraine?

NATO gave a lot to Ukraine. But not the one thing that mattered most.

As Western leaders met with top Ukrainian officials at a pivotal NATO summit this week, Ukraine was worried about the ghosts of summits past that may have helped pave the way to the war it’s facing today. During a 2008 NATO meeting in Bucharest, Romania, allied leaders offered Ukraine and Georgia a path—on paper—to one day joining the powerful Western military alliance. In a joint communiqué at the time, NATO leaders added a straightforward line that both countries “will become members of NATO” but failed to reach consensus on when or how.