Ukraine joining NATO in midst of war ‘not on agenda’ - Stoltenberg

Ukraine joining NATO in midst of war ‘not on agenda’ - Stoltenberg
Опубликовано: Friday, 26 May 2023 07:03

He said that joining a war was not an option. The issue is "what happens after the war ends".

In September, Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a request for accelerated NATO membership after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared four regions of Ukraine that were partially occupied as Russian territory.

NATO allies did not comply with Zelenskiy’s request. Western governments are wary of any move that could bring NATO closer to an active conflict with Russia.

At the Vilnius summit, in July, Kyiv along with some of its closest eastern European allies has urged NATO to take at least concrete steps towards bringing Ukraine closer to joining.

In an April op-ed, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kulleba said: "It’s time for the Alliance to stop making excuses. It’s time to start the process leading to Ukraine’s eventual accession. What we need is an official written statement from allies outlining a pathway to accession."

The Latvian prime minister Krisjanis Karins warned that Russia would restart a war if Ukraine is not allowed to join NATO following the end of the conflict.

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After meeting Stoltenberg, he said: "To have... lasting peace, it is essential that Ukraine be independent, free, and liberated, and a member of NATO."

Stoltenberg, in a rare April visit to Kyiv, reiterated the 15-year-old decision that Ukraine’s destiny lies within NATO. He did not provide a timetable.

NATO’s 2008 summit in Bucharest agreed that Ukraine would eventually join the alliance.

Leaders have not taken any action since then, such as presenting Kyiv with a membership plan which would set out a timeline for bringing Ukraine closer to NATO.

Stoltenberg admitted that there are differences between NATO members on how to deal with Kyiv’s ambitions for membership.

"There are many different opinions in the NATO alliance, and the only way for decisions to be made in NATO is through consensus." He said that there are currently consultations taking place.

"No one can tell you what the final decision will be of the Vilnius Summit on this issue."

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