(Bloomberg) -- President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the NATO summit was successful in providing Ukraine with security commitments after softening his earlier criticism of the alliance’s steps toward offering his country a path toward membership. 

The G-7 said it would provide commitments to Kyiv on the sidelines of the second day of the NATO leaders’ summit in Vilnius, where the defense alliance agreed on package of measures aimed at deepening ties with Kyiv and underlining the alliance’s long-term support. The allies pledged multi-year assistance to Ukraine; created a new NATO-Ukraine Council, which will meet later Wednesday; and sped up the process that will allow Ukraine to join NATO.

US President Joe Biden met with Zelenskiy, who had criticized the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Tuesday for not having set a clear timeline for Ukrainian accession. 

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All times local in Vilnius, CET + 1 hour:

Macron Urges Israel to Provide More Support to Ukraine (5:30 p.m.)

French President Emmanuel Macron urged Israel to make more effort to help Ukraine repel Russia’s invasion. “We fervently want Israel to commit to more support for Ukraine,” Macron told reporters following the NATO summit in Vilnius. He added that many more countries will be required to send more equipment to Ukraine in the coming months, without elaborating.

Biden Seeks to Reassure Zelenskiy (5:20 p.m.)

Biden said he hoped security guarantees offered by the G-7 and language in the NATO communique signaling an intention to eventually accept Ukraine would “put to bed” concerns raised by Zelenzkiy over entering the alliance.

“We’re going to make sure that you get what you need,” Biden assured his Ukrainian counterpart after a bilateral meeting. “And I look forward to the day we’re having the meeting to celebrate your official, official membership in NATO.”

Despite his previous concerns, Zelenskiy told reporters as he sat next to Biden that there was “great unity from our leaders and security guarantees, adding, “That is a success for this summit.”

Sunak Plays Down Wallace Remarks on Ukraine’s Ingratitude (5:15 p.m.)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sought to play down earlier comments from his defense secretary, Ben Wallace, who had suggested Zelenskiy needs to put more emphasis on thanking allies for their help.

“President Zelenskiy has expressed his gratitude for what we have done on a number of occasions, not least in his incredibly moving address that he made to Parliament earlier this year and he has done so again to me, as he has done countless times when I have met him,” Sunak told reporters at a news conference. “But across Ukraine people are also fighting for their lives and freedom every single day.”

Earlier Wallace had raised eyebrows by telling reporters that people want to see some gratitude. “You know, we’re not Amazon,” he said. “I told them that last year, when I drove 11 hours to be given a list.”

Nordic Countries to Support G-7 Security Commitments (5 p.m.)

The Nordic countries will line up behind the initiative led by the Group of Seven nations to provide Ukraine with security assurances, in conjunction with a leaders’ summit that will be held in Helsinki on Thursday, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said. 

The G-7 commitments “are very much in line with what we are doing,” the premier said about the commitments, which was announced at the NATO summit in Vilnius Wednesday. “We will give Norwegian support to this declaration, and we will do it in a joint statement with the other Nordic countries,” Gahr Store told reporters in the Lithuanian capital.

Estonia Praises NATO’s Moves on Ukraine (2:20 p.m.)

Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said his country was satisfied with the outcome of the NATO agreement on Ukraine’s perspective to join because Estonia’s goal was to set a path for Ukrainian membership and the alliance took several practical decisions.

“Always, you can find some words and ask why they are there. But as a picture, the whole picture, there is a path which has been described with next steps moving forward,” Tsahkna said in an interview on the sidelines of the summit. “Yesterday, it was the moment when the process of Ukrainian membership started in real life.” 

Ukraine Can Deliver Key Reforms for Next Summit, Lithuania Says (1:45 p.m.)

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said he’s convinced that Ukraine can deliver on the conditions set by NATO through reforms in the run-up to the alliance’s Washington summit next year, which could be historic for Kyiv.

The Vilnius summit was not the last stop, we have to see it as a bridge and the next stop is Washington,” Landsbergis said during the NATO Public Forum. “We still have a full year, lots to do and I count on every single one of you to do your part so that Washington can actually be even more historic than Vilnius.”

NATO and Ukraine Hold First Joint Council in Vilnius (1:31 p.m.)

Kyiv and NATO allies are meeting for the first time in the newly established NATO-Ukraine Council, which will allow them to hold crisis consultations and take joint decisions in an effort to move the country closer to the military alliance.

“This is a forum where Ukraine and NATO allies will meet as equals,” Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of the meeting, part of a package of measures of long-term support for Kyiv agreed on Tuesday. “Today we meet as equals — I look forward to the day we meet as allies.”

The move, which Stoltenberg says marks the “beginning of a new chapter in the relationship between NATO and Ukraine,” bumps Ukraine up to the same level of partnership NATO held with Russia before the war started. At the NATO summit in 2008, where allies agreed Ukraine would eventually join, the alliance on the sidelines held a NATO-Russia Council with Vladimir Putin, who warned of Russia’s response to the bloc’s expansion.

Zelenskiy Expresses Confidence in NATO Membership (1:21 p.m.)

Zelenskiy expressed “words of gratitude” for the steps taken by allies to support Ukraine’s defense, backing down from comments he made on Tuesday criticizing NATO for not giving Kyiv a clear accession timeline.

“We understand some are afraid to talk about our membership in NATO now because they are afraid of the global war,” Zelenskiy told reporters. “It’s for the first time today when it sounded confidently that we will be a member of NATO.”

He added that he understands the conditions for membership to be “when it will be safe on our land.”

Karins Says NATO Conversations ‘Very Positive’ (1:10 p.m.)

Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins pushed back on the idea that Zelenskiy was isolated at the NATO summit, saying he “was never alone.”

“The conversations that we were having, they were very positive – there was no animosity, everybody was speaking a similar language,” Karins said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

The softened language on Ukraine’s accession must be viewed “on balance,” Karins said, adding that the alliance “will not take in any country during a war, because that would put NATO immediately in a war.”

UK Tells Ukraine to Show More Gratitude to Allies for Weapons (1:10 p.m.)

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace suggested Ukraine should show more gratitude to the countries supplying weapons after Zelenskiy said Tuesday it was “unprecedented and absurd” that he didn’t have more detail on when Ukraine could become a NATO member

“There is a slight word of caution here — which whether we like it or not, people want to see gratitude,” Wallace told reporters in Vilnius, particularly when “you’re persuading a country to give up their stock,” he added.

Nevertheless, a meeting between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Zelenskiy without aides appeared to be friendly, and afterwards the Ukrainian president tweeted a message of thanks for Britain organizing a pledging conference to rebuild the country.

Zelenskiy Says He Will ‘Fight’ for Security Guarantees (10:15 a.m.)

Zelenskiy said he will discuss with NATO’s allies security guarantees for Ukraine while it seeks membership in the bloc.

“We want to be on the same page with everybody with all the understanding” regarding invitation to join NATO, Zelenskiy told journalists Wednesday in Vilnius, Lithuania, when he arrived for talks. “We will speak and fight for this — security guarantees for Ukraine on the way to NATO.” He also said he plans to discuss new weapon packages with partners.

UK Says Security Declaration Sends Signal to Putin (10:10 a.m.)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is due to meet Zelenskiy on Wednesday, said “this declaration reaffirms our commitment to ensure it is never left vulnerable to the kind of brutality Russia has inflicted on it again.”

The agreement “will send a strong signal to President Putin and return peace to Europe,” he added.

US Defends NATO Promises to Ukraine (10 a.m.)

The White House defended language in the NATO communique that said Ukraine would be invited to join the alliance but stopped short of providing a specific timeline or conditions, calling the declaration “a very strong forward-leaning message.”

Zelenskiy tweeted before arriving at the summit that it was “unprecedented and absurd” for leaders to use vague language and fail to provide a concrete time frame. But Amanda Sloat, the National Security Council senior director for Europe, told reporters on Wednesday that the alliance’s decision to remove some bureaucratic requirements for Ukraine to join — and explicitly declare an intention to accept the country — represented genuine progress.

“I would agree that the communique is unprecedented, but I see that in a positive way,” Sloat said. “We joined with allies yesterday in agreeing to a very strong positive message. We reaffirmed that Ukraine will become a member of the NATO alliance.” 

Lithuania Downplays Zelenskiy’s Criticisms (9:55 a.m.)

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said the ongoing war in Ukraine prompted Zelenskiy’s critical reaction to some of the decisions at the NATO summit.

“We should refrain from reaction to the statements made by a president whose country is fighting a war,” Nauseda told reporters in Vilnius. “Sometimes we don’t read the same text the same.” Nauseda said Ukraine still needs to implement reforms, which are also needed for its EU membership

Hungary to Discuss Sweden Bid This Week, ATV Says (9:50 a.m.)

Hungary’s government plans to discuss Sweden’s bid to join NATO during a three-day meeting this week, local television station ATV said Tuesday, citing unidentified officials. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s cabinet may settle on a date for parliament to vote on ratifying Sweden’s effort to join the alliance.

Turkey, the only other NATO member along with Hungary yet to approve Sweden’s bid, this week agreed to back the Nordic country’s membership after months of negotiations. Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, said earlier that Orban had been coordinating with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan, and the vote in parliament was only a technical issue.

Finnish President Underscores Unity in NATO Ukraine Response (9:50 a.m.)

Sauli Niinisto urged Zelenskiy to contain his disappointment in NATO as allies forge a united stance to help his country.

“I have said very clearly that the goal should be to do all we can to further and assist Ukraine meet the criteria NATO has set,” the Finnish president said, underscoring the importance of unity among allies. A discussion NATO leaders are set to hold with Zelenskiy on Wednesday will be “very interesting and profound,” he added.

Still, Zelenskiy’s “first reaction is understandable,” coming against a background of “great” expectations for NATO membership, said Niinisto, after a meeting with the Ukrainian leader on Tuesday night.

NATO Needs to Do More on Ukraine’s Membership, Duda Says (9:42 a.m.)

NATO’s decision to invite Ukraine to join the alliance when its members agree and conditions are met “is absolutely not enough” for Kyiv, according to Polish President Andrzej Duda.

“It was hard for NATO to give a timeframe for membership considering there is a war and accession during the war is impossible,” Duda told reporters on Wednesday. But the path provided to Kyiv is clear and the decision has effectively been made, he said.

“I hope in a few years Ukraine will be a full member in our alliance,” Duda said.

Kallas Says Allies Should Be Ready to Let Ukraine in NATO Soon (9:42 a.m.)

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said there was frustration from the Ukrainian side over the words used in the final NATO statement, which fell short of offering a clear timetable for the country’s accession to the alliance. 

“We were not saying Ukraine should join NATO while the war is ongoing, everyone understands that’s not possible,” Kallas told reporters on the doorstep. “But there are words we can use.”

Allies should be ready to allow Ukraine in the alliance as soon as an opportunity window oppens, according to Kallas.

--With assistance from Niclas Rolander, Mark Sweetman, Kati Pohjanpalo, Daryna Krasnolutska, Andra Timu, Kitty Donaldson, Piotr Skolimowski, Milda Seputyte, Justin Sink, Patrick Donahue, Maria Tadeo, Max Ramsay, Daniel Flatley, Arne Delfs and Selcan Hacaoglu.

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