NATO Secretary-General Links Ukraine Membership to Victory over Russia

news 28-Jun-2023 Politcs

NATO Secretary-General Links Ukraine's Membership to "Victory over Russia"

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated at a press conference in Brussels that Ukraine must achieve victory in its conflict with Russia as a "sovereign European state" in order to be eligible for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance.

"Ukraine's most urgent task now is to ensure its victory as a sovereign and independent European state... The main focus should be on securing Ukraine's victory. This will be a prerequisite for any serious discussion on membership," he said.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who spoke alongside Stoltenberg, promised a "surprise" at the alliance's summit in July.

"I am confident that the only security guarantee for Ukraine that truly works is NATO... But I don't want to spoil the surprise of the summit in Vilnius in any way," she said, addressing the NATO Secretary-General.

Earlier, Volodymyr Zelensky stated that if Kyiv does not receive an invitation at the upcoming meeting of member states, it will demotivate the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to him, he has repeatedly spoken with leaders of European countries, US President Joe Biden, and the NATO Secretary-General, urging them not to "undermine Ukraine's position."

On June 19, Stoltenberg stated that at the Vilnius summit and in its preparations, allies are not discussing a formal invitation for Ukraine, but rather engaging in consultations on the decisions that will bring Kyiv closer to joining the military bloc.

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