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Jul 14, 2023 / 11:03

NATO out, G7 in

For the first time in its history, G7 commits to take security guarantees for a country in the world.

On the sidelines of this year's annual NATO summit in the Capital Vilnius of Lithuania, to which Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of the non-NATO member Japan was invited to attend, the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7, including the US, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Italy, and Japan - all but Japan are NATO members), have surprisingly met.

The result of this meeting is an even bigger surprise for the outside world. The G7 countries have agreed on a joint framework for providing long-term security pledges to Ukraine. For the first time in its history, G7 commits to take security guarantees for a country in the world. Thus, G7 isn't a formal forum anymore but has transformed itself into an in-fact organization with military roles like NATO in the aspect of offering security guarantees for others.

The backbone of the G7 pledges is to enhance Ukraine's military capabilities through supplies of “modern military equipment, across land, air, and sea domains”, training of Ukrainian forces, intelligence sharing, and cyber defense assistance. G7's goals are to defend Ukraine now and to deter Russia in the future.

 Leaders of the UK, German, France, Japan, the US, Ukraine, and Canada leave at the end of an event to announce a Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine. Photo: AP

With this framework, G7 has done for Ukraine what NATO can't and daren't do now, namely to guarantee security for Ukraine. NATO can only do it for its members. If NATO guaranteed security for Ukraine, it would have to be directly warring with Russia just now in Ukraine. That is just something NATO must avoid at any price. NATO must be out. That is why G7 has jumped in for the time from now until NATO let Ukraine join the military alliance.

Nobody knows how long this period will last. The West has found its strategy to make Ukraine feel safe during Ukraine's war with Russia, to encourage Ukraine to keep fighting Russia. It is a kind of division of labor, distribution of tasks, and job sharing between NATO and G7. With its security guarantee for Ukraine, G7 has started its newest ambition: to explore military and security terrains and say goodbye to the forum it used to be and claimed to be until now.

These G7 pledges can't replace NATO's invitation to Ukraine to join NATO but still something very important, even vital, for Ukraine just now. Isn't there in the world the saying "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"?

G7's security guarantee for Ukraine is something like a temporary or situation solution for NATO. But for G7, it is a novum, a precedence, and an experiment. Nobody can now know whether it would work. Only one thing is already now sure: It will be extremely expensive for G7 members in all aspects.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Hanoi Times.