Ukraine’s membership depends on its success in war against Russia, says Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg (Photo:REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov)
Ukraine’s success in the war against Russia is a precondition for its membership in NATO, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Nov. 30.
Speaking after a meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Bucharest, Romania, he said that NATO Allies made it clear throughout the meeting that they are ready to sustain the support with advanced military equipment, with ammunition, with fuel, with all the other stuff that Ukraine needs to defend themselves.
“That is the urgent, that’s the immediate and the most important task for Allies,” Stoltenberg said.
He emphasized that the most immediate and urgent task is to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent democratic nation in Europe;and to do so, the Allies need to mobilize as much as they can, when it comes to military, economic, financial, and humanitarian support to Ukraine.
“And this is exactly what we do,” the NATO chief said.
“If Ukraine does not prevail as an independent sovereign state, then of course, then membership issue is not at the table at all. Because then we have no candidate member anymore in Ukraine.”
Stoltenberg stressed that it is important now to take step by step and the most important and urgent step is to ensure that Ukraine prevails.
“...We need to develop closer and closer partnership, both political partnership but also practical partnership with Ukraine,” the official said.
“This will strengthen their institutions. It will help them to move from Soviet-era equipment standards to modern, NATO standard equipment doctrines. This is good for Ukraine, this is good for us, it will increase interoperability, but it will also help Ukraine move closer to membership.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Nov. 21 called on Western countries to support Ukraine’s applications to join NATO and the European Union.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Nov. 15 that Ukraine is ready to defend NATO’s eastern flank, although it is not yet a member of the Alliance.
Zelenskyy announced on Sept. 30 that his country would apply for NATO membership on an expedited basis. The document was signed by the president, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk.
The presidents of nine NATO countries (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia) on Oct. 2 called for “a significant increase in military assistance to Ukraine” and supported its membership in the Alliance.
The Office of the President of Ukraine reported on Oct. 4 that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had received Ukraine’s application. Now it will be considered at the level of ambassadors of NATO member states in Brussels.
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