Asked whether Ukraine achieved the best possible benefit at the summit, Rinkēvičs said that a large plus was the established NATO-Ukraine Council. The visit of the Ukrainian President to Vilnius has provided an opportunity to discuss not only Ukraine's accession to NATO but also the provision of practical support.
"If we're talking about the maximum that Ukraine could get, the maximum is always what all the members of the Alliance can agree on. So at the moment, this is the best possible common denominator. Before the summit there were different views, many discussions, and complex multi-level diplomacy," the President said.
While the NATO criteria for Ukraine's admission aren't as clear as they would like, the commitment to simplify Ukraine's path to membership in the alliance is a benefit, said Rinkēvičs. Much will now depend on the situation on the front and on what dynamics will be in the alliance.
“The conditions of admission could have been clearer, but we also respect the fact that these were issues that all member states, including Ukraine, could agree on,” the President said.
The President also said that as soon as one summit is concluded, preparations for the next are taking place, but in his view, like-minded countries should continue to use every opportunity to support Ukraine.
Asked what signals the decisions taken at the NATO summit send to Russia in the context of Ukraine and to what extent these decisions may have an impact on the course of the war, Rinkēvičs said:
"With declarations and papers, no war has yet been won. From that point of view, I think Russia can no doubt see that Ukraine's path is to NATO. It's not going to be an easy road. Russia also sees the alliance, with individual nuances, is united and willing to continue to support Ukraine in practice. I do not think that the summit's decisions will affect the course of the war. It's about Ukrainian soldiers and our capabilities to equip them with everything they need for war," he said.
Rinkēvičs emphasized that for Member States, the absolute minimum would be to reach 2% of GDP for defense and to allocate 20% of that funding to defense expenditure or so-called investments.
The president also expressed hope that the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia's rhetoric, and threats to all Member States would make all states consider it seriously and invest in strengthening defense capabilities, no matter whether they are countries bordering Russia or countries farther from the aggressor.