Ukraine is applying for NATO membership on an accelerated timetable, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address following a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on Sept. 30.
The President stressed that de facto Ukraine has already completed its journey to NATO, and proved compatibility with the Alliance's standards.
"De facto. Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure," Zelenskyy announced, recalling the example of Finland and Sweden.
“Under a procedure that will be in line with our value for the protection of our entire community. In an expedited manner.”
The President suggested that during the negotiations on Ukraine's accession, Kyiv’s international partners should implement the proposals on security guarantees listed in the Kyiv Security Compact – a plan proposed earlier by Ukraine to safeguard its national security and sovereignty.
Zelenskyy said that the Kremlin would not have stopped its invasion at Ukraine’s borders if Ukraine had not stopped it, and that only strengthen-ing Ukraine and expelling the occupiers from the Ukrainian territory would return peace to the region.
At the end of the address, Zelenskyy, as well as Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal signed the fast-track membership application together.
During the NSDC meeting, the council is said to have heard reports from the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, the acting head of the Security Service of Ukraine, and the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, and discussed "ways to counteract" Russia's attempts to annex Ukrainian territory.
During the meeting, the heads of Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson Oblast administrations and the Permanent Representative of the President in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea detailed how Russia conducted sham voting in the occupied territories.
The NSDC members reviewed measures to ensure the collective security of the Euro-Atlantic space and Ukraine, in particular the increase of assistance to Ukraine and the strengthening of sanctions against Russia, the intensification of the strategy of nuclear deterrence against the aggressor, as well as the fight against hybrid threats.
Zelenskyy also noted that the NSDC had decided to impose sanctions on important Russian individuals and legal entities, and called on MPs to adopt a bill on the nationalization of all Russian assets at the next meet-ing.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed "agreements" on the annexation of occupied territories of Ukraine with the heads of the Donbas puppet authorities, and collaborators in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, on Sept. 30.