Ukraine's NATO membership to be decided after the war, UK defense secretary says
Ben Wallace (Photo:REUTERS/Nadja Wohlleben)
The question of Ukraine's membership in NATO is not currently being addressed as the country remains in a state of war, and will be settled after the conflict with Russia concludes, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said at a press conference on May 17.
"The issue of Ukraine's membership in NATO is not currently being discussed; Ukraine is in the midst of a war," Wallace said.
At the same time, the secretary stressed the importance of strengthening Ukraine's defense capabilities and its ability to deter Russia, both now and after the war. According to Wallace, the political decision about Ukraine's NATO accession will be made by all Alliance members after the war is over. The UK advocates for providing Kyiv with a roadmap for membership.
He underscored that London and Berlin are leading the continent in support of Ukraine.
"The UK and Germany are sending a signal to Russia that aggression is unacceptable, that it cannot win this war, and that it must give Ukraine peace," Wallace added.
During a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on April 20, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that there are "no barriers to making political decisions" regarding the country's membership in the alliance.
Stoltenberg stated that all NATO members agree that Kyiv will ultimately join the alliance, but are currently focusing on Ukraine's victory in the war with Russia.
At the NATO Vilnius Summit in July 2023, Ukraine expects specific proposals from the alliance regarding membership prospects and security guarantees.
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