Fact Check: Ukrainian President Was NOT Ignored At NATO Summit In Vilnius


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Ukrainian President Was NOT Ignored At NATO Summit In Vilnius Fine Reception

Was Zelenskyy left alone and neglected by other participating leaders during the NATO summit in Vilnius? No, that's not true: numerous pictures and video footage confirm that other heads of state and government gave a hospitable welcome to the President of Ukraine and his wife Olena.

On July 12, 2023, the claim appeared in a video posted on the TikTok account @belvestnik (archived here).

The caption on the screen reads, in Russian:

Lone Zelensky at the NATO summit:

one of the most popular online photos from the meeting of the alliance's leaders

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Jul 26 11:18:51 2023 UTC)

A photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky allegedly standing alone during the NATO summit in Vilnius (July 11-12) has gone viral. Searching TikTok for the keywords "lonely zelenskyy" (translated from Russian by Lead Stories staff) related to this photo got 16.3 billion views at the time of this fact check. The Russian-speaking Internet began to insinuate that no one wanted Zelensky at the summit and no one spoke to him. However, this is not true, as many other images show (here, here, or here).

The original photo comes from Reuters, and the description reads:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his wife Olena Zelenska participate in a family photo before a dinner hosted by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda at the presidential palace during a NATO leaders summit in Vilnius, Lithuania July 11, 2023.

At a joint press conference held by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Ukraine, Zelensky summed up the results of the meeting in Vilnius:

The results of the summit are good, but if there was an invitation [to NATO], it would be ideal.

NATO said it would allow Ukraine to join only "if allies agree and conditions are met," without giving a time frame. According to this article in the New York Times, the ongoing war with Russia is the main reason for NATO denying Ukraine membership.

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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