Ukraine is already a member of NATO due to Western supplies, says Kiev
Mikhail Podolyak, an advisor to the head of Vladimir Zelensky's office, stated in an interview that Ukraine is de facto already a member of NATO because it possesses Western weapons and adheres to Western standards.
"Let's be pragmatic. Ukraine is already de facto a member of NATO because we have Western weapons, Western standards, and we defend the West," Podolyak noted in an interview with inews.
According to him, the deeper integration of the country into NATO will be discussed at the July summit in Vilnius, but not official membership.
The NATO Summit in Vilnius will take place on July 11-12. As the agency points out, final decisions of major summits are usually the result of lengthy negotiations and often conclude shortly before the official start of the events.
Previously, Vladimir Zelensky stated that if Ukraine does not receive an invitation to NATO at the summit in Vilnius in July, it would demotivate the Ukrainian troops. According to his words, he has repeatedly spoken with the leaders of European countries, US President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, requesting them not to "pull the rug out from under Ukraine." Stoltenberg stated on June 19th that at the Vilnius summit and in the preparations for it, the allies are not discussing a formal invitation to Ukraine but are consulting on the decisions that will bring Kyiv closer to membership in the alliance. The main thing now is for Ukraine to remain a sovereign state, the Secretary General added.
The Press Secretary of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, stated that the Kremlin heard Zelensky's request for Ukraine's accession to NATO, as well as various reactions to it. According to him, Moscow is closely monitoring the situation and remembers that it was precisely Kyiv's orientation towards the alliance that became one of the reasons for Russia's special operation in Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the US and NATO are directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, "including not only supplying weapons but also training personnel... on the territory of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and other countries." Earlier, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, stated that the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Romania make the largest contribution to the supply of military aid to Kyiv.