NATO Communiqué Repeats Vague Promise on Ukraine Membership, Accuses China of Being ‘Enabler’ of War

The alliance called Ukraine's potential NATO membership 'irreversible' but didn't offer any concrete timeline

NATO’s communiqué released on Wednesday during the summit in Washington repeated a vague promise made to Ukraine last year regarding its future membership and accused China of fueling the Russia-Ukraine war.

The communiqué describes Ukraine’s potential future NATO membership as “irreversible” but does not offer concrete steps toward Kyiv actually joining the alliance.

“We welcome the concrete progress Ukraine has made since the Vilnius Summit on its required democratic, economic, and security reforms.  As Ukraine continues this vital work, we will continue to support it on its irreversible path to full Euro-Atlantic integration, including NATO membership,” the communiqué reads.

The communiqué continues and says NATO will invite Ukraine to join when “Allies agree and conditions are met,” the same ambiguous language used in last year’s communiqué at the summit in Vilnius that had Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fuming.

The alliance did make new commitments to Ukraine related to the proxy war against Russia, including a pledge to provide $43 billion in military aid in 2025, new air defense systems, and the stationing of a NATO official in Kyiv.

Regarding Beijing, the communiqué took aim at China’s trade relationship with Russia. The alliance said the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has “become a decisive enabler of Russia’s war against Ukraine through its so-called ‘no limits’ partnership and its large-scale support for Russia’s defense industrial base.”

In recent months, the US and NATO have been accusing China of fueling the war in Ukraine despite the fact that Beijing hasn’t sent military aid while the Western alliance has been pouring weapons into the conflict zone and discouraging peace talks. In the communiqué, the alliance demands that China stop exporting “dual use” items to Russia.

“We call on the PRC, … to cease all material and political support to Russia’s war effort. This includes the transfer of dual-use materials, such as weapons components, equipment, and raw materials that serve as inputs for Russia’s defense sector. The PRC cannot enable the largest war in Europe in recent history without this negatively impacting its interests and reputation,” the communiqué reads.

NATO started targeting China in its documents in 2020, and in 2022, it formally declared the North Atlantic military alliance was facing a security “challenge” from Beijing. “The PRC continues to pose systemic challenges to Euro-Atlantic security,” the communiqué reads.

China continues to strongly condemn NATO’s focus on it and the Asia Pacific region as a whole. “China’s position on NATO is consistent. We firmly oppose NATO acting beyond its characterization as a regional defensive alliance, inserting itself into the Asia-Pacific to incite confrontation and rivalry, and disrupting the prosperity and stability in this region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said on Wednesday.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.