Ukraine’s application cautiously received by NATO members
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s surprise bid for fast-track membership to NATO met with concern from several powerful NATO members.
The US believes that Ukraine’s NATO application “should be taken up at a different time,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said at a briefing with journalists.
“The United States has been clear for decades that we support an open-door policy for NATO,” Sullivan pointed out. “Any decision on NATO membership is between the 30 allies and the countries aspiring to join,” he added. “Right now, our view is that the best way for us to support Ukraine is through practical, on-the-ground support in Ukraine and that the process in Brussels should be taken up at a different time,” Sullivan noted.
Sullivan also discussed concerns over Russia’s attempted annexation of Ukraine territory with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday but the readout of the phone call did not contain information over Ukraine’s bid to NATO.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, cautiously commented on Ukraine’s decision when speaking with the ARD broadcaster. “We continue to support Ukraine even by providing heavy weapons, ensuring its right to self-defense but we are making every possible effort to prevent other countries and NATO in general from being dragged into this war,” she said. Germany opposed the last time Ukraine applied to join Nato, in 2008
Italy’s Five Stars Movement leader and former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned that Kiev’s application “may result in all of NATO allies getting fully involved” in the conflict in Ukraine. “The strategy that the North Atlantic Alliance has been pursuing (..) is leading to an escalation that risks going out of control,” Conte said.