The US President says Ukraine is obligated to “meet the standards” before joining the alliance.
According to US President Joe Biden, Ukraine is obligated to “meet the same standards” in order to join the NATO alliance, and the US will not be making any special arrangements for the country.
The White House press pool reported that when asked if the US would simplify the process, the President responded, “No. Because they’ve got to meet the same standards.”
NATO officials hope to conduct the first session of a NATO-Ukraine Council with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Vilnius, Lithuania, next month, according to alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg on Friday in Brussels.
The summit would provide Kiev with a more equitable place at the table “to consult and decide on security issues,” according to Stoltenberg.
However, Stoltenberg noted that, while NATO will strengthen political connections with Ukraine during the summit, there will be no discussion of Kiev’s membership.
“We’re not going to discuss an invitation at the Vilnius Summit, but how we can move Ukraine closer to NATO,” Stoltenberg explained.
The Secretary-General added that he was “confident” a good solution and consensus would be found.
Boris Pistorius, the German Defense Minister, hinted on Friday that if Ukraine is ready to join, some membership requirements may be relaxed.
NATO has already supplied Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons since the war began, however, some officials are worried that membership would increase the chance of a direct confrontation with Russia.
Regarding Russia’s placement of nuclear weapons in Belarus, Biden told reporters in Washington that the action is “totally irresponsible”. Two days ago, US State Secretary Anthony Blinken called Belarus’ acceptance of the weapons a provocation.