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Photo: Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Images

The White House and the Ukrainian government initially sent out conflicting official accounts of Monday's phone call between President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Why it matters: Ukraine's government initially reported on its official website that Biden had "highlighted... the importance of providing the Ukrainian state with a NATO Membership Action Plan," which would put Ukraine on course for membership in the alliance. The White House denied Biden expressed support for such a step on the call.

  • "The Ukrainians mischaracterized the statement and corrected the record," a National Security Council spokesperson told Axios.
  • By Monday evening, the Ukrainian government's readout had been changed to remove the reference to NATO membership for Ukraine.

Flashback: Former President George W. Bush first backed the idea of giving Ukraine a Membership Action Plan — the process through which 11 eastern European countries have joined NATO — in 2008. Thirteen years later, the besieged state is no closer to NATO membership.

  • In the meantime, Russia has invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. The United States and Europe sent aid to Ukraine but made clear they would not use military force to defend Ukraine from Vladimir Putin.
  • Zelensky has made NATO integration a top priority, but progress on that front currently looks unlikely.

Of note: When asked, the White House declined to comment on whether Biden supports the idea of offering Ukraine a NATO Membership Action Plan this year.

Driving the news: During the call on Monday, Biden invited Zelensky to the White House in July.

Between the lines: That announcement came 18 hours after Axios published an interview with Zelensky in which the Ukrainian president criticized Biden's handling of Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline and urged Biden to meet with him "at any moment and at any spot on the planet" before seeing Putin.

Go deeper: Read the interview

Go deeper

Exclusive: Zelensky "surprised" and "disappointed" by Biden pipeline move

Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: Sergei Supinsk/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he learned through the press — not any direct heads-up — that President Biden had decided to stop trying to block a Russian pipeline that Ukraine sees as a dire national security threat.

Driving the news: Zelensky used an hourlong Zoom interview with Axios on Friday to beseech Biden to meet with him face to face before a June 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — offering to join him "at any moment and at any spot on the planet."

Jun 7, 2021 - World

Biden to invite Ukraine's Zelensky to White House after Putin summit

President Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call Monday that he looks forward to welcoming him to the White House this summer after returning from his trip to Europe, according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Why it matters: In an hour-long interview with Axios on Friday, Zelensky urged Biden to meet with him face to face before a June 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — offering to join him "at any moment and at any spot on the planet."

Outside launches membership model

Outside

Outside, the media company home to dozens of outdoor enthusiast brands, is launching Outside+, an annual membership that combines more than 30 of its editorial brands and apps into a single offering.

Why it matters: Outside is an anomaly in the magazine world for turning print subscriptions into digital subscriptions over the past few years.