Boris Johnson warns Washington against ‘Ukraine fatigue’ after NATO summit

13 July, 12:36 PM
Boris Johnson (Photo:REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)

Boris Johnson (Photo:REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on the United States to continue to support Ukraine, saying it was "very important" to establish that Ukraine was on track to join the alliance.

There can be "no possible excuse" for postponing Ukraine's accession to NATO, Johnson told U.S. news channel CNN during the interview on July 12, commenting on the outcome of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11-12.

“There can be no possible excuse or reason to keep faffing around and delaying," the UK politician said, stressing that it was "very important" to establish that Ukraine was on the path to NATO membership.

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"The last remaining objection was that it was going to be provocative to Vladimir Putin," Johnson said.

“Well, we’ve seen what happens when you don’t have Ukraine in NATO – you provoke the worst war in Europe in 80 years.”

“It is absolutely crucial," for Ukraine to defeat Russia, because Ukraine's victory is "vital for democracy and freedom around the world," Johnson added.

On his way to Vilnius, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lambasted NATO states that were discussing the wording of their invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance, not its prospects of becoming a member, and suggesting "conditions" for this invitation.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on July 12 further irked Ukrainians, saying that Ukraine should be more grateful to the West for its weapons, commenting on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's criticism of the lack of an invitation and clear timeline for joining NATO.

Zelenskyy later replied that he had no idea how else Ukraine should thank the United Kingdom for its help.

"Let him write to me (about] how else I should express my words of gratitude, or (perhaps) we could get up in the morning and express our words of gratitude to the minister,” Zelenskyy said.

NATO Summit in Vilnius – What is known

The summit in the Lithuanian capital on July 11-12 was attended by the leaders of 31 NATO member states, including U.S. President Joe Biden, and additionally invited delegations from Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Ukraine, and Sweden (Turkey agreed to unblock its accession earlier).

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally attended the summit. Kyiv expected to receive a clear signal at the summit that NATO was ready to admit Ukraine to the alliance.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on July 11 that Ukraine would become a NATO member and join the alliance without a membership action plan (MAP), and that it would receive an invitation when the allies agree to it and "the conditions are met."

The Group of Seven (G7) countries have also agreed on a declaration on long-term security guarantees for Ukraine. These are to be provided through individual bilateral agreements between security guarantor states and Ukraine.

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