Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and NATO leaders don’t see eye-to-eye on the timing of Ukraine joining the alliance, but President Joe Biden said things were moving in the right direction Wednesday after meeting with Zelenskyy at a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Ukraine secured security commitments from G7 leaders who issued a joint declaration of support for Ukraine Wednesday meant to act as a bridge until it reaches NATO membership. NATO, however, offered no timetable for Ukraine joining, which Zelenskyy hoped for.

“It’s going to happen, we’re moving in the right direction, I think it’s just a matter of getting by the next few months here,” Biden said during remarks in Lithuania.

The reason Ukraine isn’t being invited to join NATO immediately is because “it would instantly put the United States in a shooting war with Russia,” State Department press secretary Matthew Miller said Tuesday. NATO’s collective defense provision means an attack on one is an attack on all.

Leaders from the G7 countries committed to offering Ukraine the assistance it needs to defend itself from Russia and deter future Russian aggression. Ukraine’s security is “integral to the security of the Euro-Atlantic region,” the G7 leaders from the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan said in their joint statement.

Biden said the latest steps start a process for countries to “negotiate long-term bilateral security commitments” with Ukraine.

“We’re going to help Ukraine build a strong, capable defense across land, air, and sea,” Biden said. “It will be a force of stability in the region and deter against any and all threats.”

U.S. President Joe Biden, second left, shakes hands with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council during a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Wednesday, July 12, 2023. NATO leaders gathered Wednesday to launch a highly symbolic new forum for ties with Ukraine, after committing to provide the country with more military assistance for fighting Russia but only vague assurances of future membership. | Pavel Golovkin, Associated Press
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While Zelenskyy called the lack of timetable to join NATO “absurd,” he said Ukraine counted on assistance from the U.S. and other countries.

“It’s big support and I understand it’s all your money, but you have to know, you spend this money not just for fighting, you spend this money for our lives, and I think that we save the lives for Europe and for all the world,” Zelenskyy said.

Biden called NATO “stronger, more energized, and yes, more united than ever in its history,” in remarks after his meeting with Zelenskyy and said “it didn’t happen by accident and it wasn’t inevitable.” He said the U.S. would not waver in its support of Ukraine.

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“We will not waver, I mean that,” Biden said. “Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken. We will stand for liberty and freedom today and tomorrow and for as long as it takes.”

Finland is the newest member of NATO after joining in April, and on Monday, Turkey agreed to allow Sweden to join after previously opposing its membership. There are now 31 NATO countries.