Stoltenberg: Victory in war with Russia is prerequisite for Ukraine's NATO membership

Stoltenberg: Victory in war with Russia is prerequisite for Ukraine's NATO membership

NATO Allies are currently focusing on providing Ukraine with immediate and urgent assistance to defend itself against Russian aggression, as any talks about Ukraine's full-fledged NATO membership will be possible only when Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent democratic nation.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated this today in Bucharest during a press conference following the two-day Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“The most immediate and urgent task, is to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent democratic nation in Europe. And to do so, we need to mobilize as much as we can, when it comes to military, economic, financial and humanitarian support to Ukraine. And this is exactly what we do. If Ukraine does not prevail as an independent sovereign state, then of course, then membership issue is not at the table at all. Because then we have no candidate member anymore in Ukraine. So, whatever you think about when Ukraine can become a member, a precondition for that issue to be at the table at all is that Ukraine prevails, and we are helping Ukraine to do so as we speak,” Stoltenberg said.

He noted that the Allies made it clear throughout the meeting in Bucharest that they are ready to support Ukraine with advanced military equipment, ammunition, fuel, and all the other stuff that Ukraine needs to defend themselves. This is the urgent, immediate and the most important task for Allies now, he stressed.

NATO Secretary General noted that “there is a lot between nothing and full membership.”

“[This means that] we need to develop closer and closer partnership, both political partnership but also practical partnership with Ukraine. This will strengthen their institutions. It will help them to move from a Soviet era equipment standards to modern NATO standard equipment doctrines. This is good for Ukraine, this is good for us, it will increase interoperability, but it will also help Ukraine move closer to membership. So I think it is important now that we take it step by step. The most important and urgent step is to ensure that Ukraine prevails and that is exactly what we are doing,” Stoltenberg summed up.

As reported, the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs takes place in Bucharest, Romania, on November 29-30, focusing on continued assistance to Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, strengthening the Alliance's defense capabilities for the effective protection of all Allies.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba took part in the meeting of government officials of NATO countries and informed the allies and partners of the Alliance about the priority needs of Ukraine in resisting Russia's aggressive war.


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