Rasmussen, who serves as an adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and worked with his predecessor, Pyotr Poroshenko, said Kiev should be given written guarantees before NATO leaders meet in Vilnius, Lithuania next month, including for Western intelligence-sharing, weapons transfers and joint military training.
“If NATO cannot agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there is a clear possibility that some countries individually might take action,” he said.
After touring Europe and the United States in recent weeks to help gin up military support for Ukraine, Rasmussen argued that foreign troop deployments would be legal under international law if requested by Kiev.
While NATO’s current secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, recently confirmed that some security assurances would be discussed at the summit, he stressed that full guarantees could only be offered to member states. The bloc first pledged to grant Ukraine membership back in 2008, and Kiev formally applied to join last September, but little progress has been made on the issue since.
Several NATO members have become increasingly vocal about Ukraine’s future in the bloc, urging other Western countries to outline a clear path to membership. Earlier this week, a sub-grouping of Eastern European NATO states known as the ‘Bucharest Nine’ issued a statement urging the bloc to “launch a new political track that will lead to Ukraine’s membership in NATO” at the Vilnius event, as well as a “more robust, multi–year, and comprehensive support package.”