Facing a building threat from Russia, Ukraine’s president sought security guarantees from NATO’s chief in a meeting Thursday and came away with a renewed commitment that his country could eventually join the military alliance despite stiff objections from its Russian neighbors.

While the timing of the statement by the chief, Jens Stoltenberg, sent an unmistakable message of support, it did not come with the commitments of military assistance that Ukrainian officials have been pleading for to deter, or possibly defend themselves against, a Russian military incursion.

Standing next to the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Stoltenberg denounced the Russian military buildup but said nothing about providing Ukraine with the additional weaponry or troops it was seeking. He referred to a 2008 summit during which NATO members promised membership to Ukraine and Georgia.