Ukraine calls for accelerated NATO membership
Ukraine will seek accelerated NATO membership, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday (September 30), shortly after Russia formally annexed four Moscow-controlled regions of Ukraine.
«We are taking a decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated NATO membershipZelensky announced in a Facebook video, flanked by Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk.
«In fact, we have already made our way to NATO. In fact, we have already demonstrated that we adhere to the Alliance’s standards, (…) de facto, today Ukraine is demanding to implement them as of right‘ he explained.
It was not immediately clear what this would mean in practice and whether NATO members, who had been reluctant to invite Ukraine to join the alliance even before the war, supported this approach.
Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Friday evening, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated the alliance’s policy of opening up to new members, but did not directly support the NATO candidacy.
«Every democracy in Europe has the right to apply for NATO membership, NATO allies respect this right and we have said repeatedly that the door to NATO remains opensaid Herr Stoltenberg.
He added that at a recent summit in Madrid, NATO members reiterated that they “Support Ukraine’s right to choose its own path and decide which security arrangements it wants to participate in».
Joining the alliance requires the unanimous support of its 30 members and there is no expedited procedure.
After receiving an official letter of intent, the military alliance is likely to have to consider the application at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (CAN) of the 30 member countries at ambassadorial level.
The NATO ambassadors will then decide whether to proceed with membership and what steps to take to get there.
This depends on the extent to which the candidate countries adapt to the political, military and legal standards of NATO and its contribution to security in the North Atlantic region.
Kiev’s decision follows Russia’s official announcement of the illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions in the largest land grab in Europe since World War II.
In his video speech, Mr Zelensky accused Russia of brazenly rewriting history and redrawing borders.with murder, extortion, abuse and lies“, behavior that Kyiv cannot tolerate.
However, he said that Ukraine remains committed to the idea of coexistence with Russia.under conditions of equality, honesty, dignity and fairnessbut added that “obviously that’s impossible with this Russian President».
«II [Vladimir Poutine] I don’t know what dignity and honesty are. That is why we are ready for dialogue with Russia, but with a different Russian Presidentsaid Mr. Zelensky.
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