NATO countries are divided over what kind of political reassurances they might give Ukraine at the next NATO summit meeting, in mid-July, with the United States, Germany and France resisting pressure from central and Eastern European allies to provide any detailed "road map” toward membership, Western officials said following a meeting of NATO foreign ministers this week.

On some level, they said, the debate is notional, given that Ukraine is at war and a major part of its territory is occupied by Russian invaders. And much will depend on how successful Ukraine is in its long-heralded counteroffensive, expected later this spring or early summer.

The debate was one focus of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels this week, as it was for the previous such meeting, held in Bucharest, Romania, in November, when the United States also resisted making any political promises to Ukraine about accelerated membership.