Zelensky: NATO countries at Washington summit should bring Ukraine's accession closer and show they are not afraid of Russia

Zelensky: NATO countries at Washington summit should bring Ukraine's accession closer and show they are not afraid of Russia

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that NATO member states at the Washington Summit should take a step towards Ukraine's membership in the Alliance to demonstrate that they are not afraid of Russia.

The President stated this at a meeting with representatives of the Baltic media when answering the question from an Ukrinform correspondent.

"We would like to see a real step from the NATO countries that brings Ukraine closer to NATO, so that there is no stagnation. I think it is very important not only for us, but also for Washington, that this summit be successful and powerful, that NATO countries show that they are not afraid of Russia. Because the smaller the steps Ukraine takes to get closer to NATO, the greater someone's fear of Russia. We cannot show this - it will be a big mistake, it will add to the ambitions of the Russian president," Zelensky said.

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He noted that at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, certain steps were taken to bring Ukraine's membership closer. In particular, such a "very good instrument" as the NATO-Ukraine Council was launched.

"We used this tool, and I saw how quickly it is possible to organize (a meeting of) partners - you can meet at the level of defense ministers, foreign ministers, etc.," the President noted.

He also recalled that, based on the Group of Seven declaration, work had begun on the sidelines of the Vilnius summit on security guarantees for Ukraine on its path to NATO, "that is, while Ukraine is not in NATO."

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"It is not easy, but I think that we will soon be able to demonstrate to the public - not only to the Ukrainian public - the first draft of not everything, because there are closed norms, but we will be able to show general things. It seems to me that the assessment will be positive of these things regarding security guarantees," Zelensky said.

As Ukrinform reported, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his speech to diplomats on December 22 that effective preparation for the Washington summit is one of the key goals for 2024.

Ukraine has initiated a discussion with partners regarding the results of the NATO Washington Summit, scheduled for July 2024, and wants to hear the opinion of the United States on how they see the event.

On January 10, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky paid a visit to Lithuania. Today, he visited Estonia and now is in Latvia.

On the evening of January 11, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs in Riga.

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