Ukraine's membership of NATO not possible before war is over - Stoltenberg

Ukraine's membership of NATO not possible before war is over - Stoltenberg

Ukraine cannot join NATO while active hostilities are ongoing in the country, but Allies will support Ukraine and consistently provide it with assistance in implementing reforms to bring it closer to membership of the military alliance.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a press conference in Brussels on Monday ahead of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers, Ukrinform reports.

"It's too early to say exactly what will be the session at the Washington Summit. All Allies agree that in the midst of a war full membership is not possible. But of course, we will continue to address how we can move Ukraine and NATO even closer together as we prepare for the Washington Summit. What decision we make there has to be addressed at a later stage when we are closer to the summit," Stoltenberg said.

He recalled that NATO allies were following up and implementing the decisions that they made on Ukraine and NATO membership at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July of this year.

In particular, the Allies shortened Ukraine's path to membership from a two-step process to a one-step process by removing the requirement for a Membership Action Plan for Ukraine, as was also done for Finland and Sweden. The Allies also founded a qualitatively new instrument - the NATO-Ukraine Council, where Ukraine and the Allies meet as equal partners to make joint decisions. They agreed on a comprehensive substantial program for ensuring full interoperability between Ukrainian and NATO forces. Member countries are also in the process of delivering F-16 fighter jets, battle tanks, artillery and training to Ukraine.

Read also: Ukraine prevailing as a sovereign, independent nation - Stoltenberg

All that, according to Stoltenberg, brings Ukraine closer to NATO membership in a very practical way.

He noted that during the ministerial meeting, which begins tomorrow, the Allies would agree on recommendations for Ukraine's priority reform.

"We continue to support Kyiv on its path to NATO membership," Stoltenberg said.

Photo: EPA

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