Stoltenberg in Kiev: Ukraine’s place is in NATO

Ukraine war

Stoltenberg in Kiev: Ukraine’s place is in NATO

Shortly before the next summit meeting on arms deliveries to Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg traveled to Kiev. His visit is a clear signal to Moscow.

Kyiv. During a surprise visit to Kiev, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised Ukraine further support in its efforts to join the military alliance. “Ukraine deserves a place in NATO,” said the 64-year-old at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. With the support of NATO, it will also be able to take it over time.

Stoltenberg also referred to a support program announced at the beginning of April for Ukraine’s planned NATO membership. The multi-year initiative is intended to make it easier for the country to adapt to alliance standards and enable seamless cooperation with NATO. It was “proof of NATO’s long-term commitment in Ukraine,” said Stoltenberg in Kiev.

No precise schedule

So far, there is no precise timeline for Ukraine’s accession. When announcing the new program, Stoltenberg merely pointed out that it was a common NATO position for Ukraine to become a member. He was playing on a summit declaration from 2008. With regard to Ukraine and Georgia, it says: “We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.”

At the time, Stoltenberg indirectly ruled out Ukraine’s accession in times of war. He pointed out that NATO membership requires Ukraine to survive the war as a democratic, independent nation.

Regarding the course of the war, Stoltenberg said in Kiev: “We don’t know when this war will end, but we do know that Russian aggression is a toxic pattern of behavior that must be stopped.” Therefore, the Ukrainian armed forces must be further strengthened and it must be ensured that there are robust and powerful safeguards for Ukraine’s security.

More than 150 billion euros in aid

According to Stoltenberg, the NATO countries have already provided more than 150 billion euros in aid since the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine began in February last year. “The Allies are now delivering more jets, tanks and armored vehicles,” Stoltenberg said. All of this makes a real difference on the battlefield today.

According to NATO, Stoltenberg also visited the Kiev suburb of Bucha, which was occupied by Russian troops in spring 2022 and where the bodies of hundreds of civilians were later found.

Selenskyj thanked Stoltenberg for personally inviting him to the NATO summit in Vilnius in July. “The time has come for the leaders to determine the prospects of Ukraine joining NATO,” said the 45-year-old. On the way to NATO membership, Ukraine also needs security guarantees from the military alliance.

Ukraine has been repelling a Russian invasion with Western support for almost 14 months. In addition to weapons, ammunition and training, Kiev also receives reconnaissance data from NATO. One of Russia’s war aims is to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.

More articles from this category can be found here: Abroad

© dpa-infocom, dpa:230420-99-382260/16 (dpa)

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