Politics 2023-09-15T06:14:34+03:00
Ukrainian news
Possibility Of Ukraine's Membership In NATO Depends On Reforms And Not On Conflict With Russia - Secretary Gen

Possibility Of Ukraine's Membership In NATO Depends On Reforms And Not On Conflict With Russia - Secretary General Stoltenberg

NATO, Russia, Donbas, Ukraine, reforms, Donbas conflict, Jens Stoltenberg, escalation

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasizes that the possibility of Ukraine's membership in the Alliance depends on the implementation of reforms in the state, and not on the situation in the country due to the conflict with Russia.

He stated this at a joint briefing with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels (Belgium), answering journalists' questions, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

Stoltenberg was asked if Ukraine can become a full-fledged member of NATO in conditions when it does not control part of its territory - the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the annexed Crimea.

"It depends on Ukraine when it decides whether it is ready for membership. No one can disturb or interfere in this process. It is the sovereign right of a sovereign nation to apply for membership, and the allies will decide when this happens. Because Russia is now trying to implement spheres of influence and decide what its neighbors may or may not do. We believe that Ukraine should decide on its own path, and only allies can decide whether the standards have already been met," he replied.

The Secretary General added that the only and best way to approach Euro-Atlantic integration is through reforms and modernization.

In turn, Kuleba believes that Ukraine will become a NATO member, and considers it only a matter of time.

"In 2008, at the Bucharest summit, NATO promised Ukraine and Georgia, and we believe that we can trust the institution of the Alliance, and it will keep its promises. For us, NATO membership is a matter of time," he added.

The minister is confident that the status of an enhanced opportunity partner, received by Ukraine, will increase the compatibility of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the NATO defense sector.

The NATO Secretary General recalled that the Alliance has few partners with such a status, and stressed that it demonstrates the value of partnership and is a platform for further practical interaction.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, Ukraine initiated an extraordinary meeting of the NATO commission on Tuesday to discuss Russia's aggravation of the security situation.

According to Kuleba, the commission will discuss ways to support Ukraine in order to avoid a repetition of the events of 2014 by Russia.

The minister said that Ukraine expects from NATO new sanctions against Russia and the strengthening of Ukrainian defense capabilities in the context of the escalation of the situation in Donbas and the state border.

At a joint briefing with Kuleba in Brussels, Stoltenberg called the current build-up of Russia's military presence on the border with Ukraine the most massive since the annexation of Crimea and called on the Russian Federation to immediately stop it.