Zelensky pushes Ukraine’s “accelerated” application for NATO membership

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine is applying for “accelerated accession” to NATO, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday, an apparent response to Russia’s move to illegally annex four of the country’s partially occupied territories.

The comments were more symbolic than practical: Ukraine’s swift acceptance into the alliance required members to immediately send troops to fight Russia under collective security obligations.

Ukraine has long sought NATO membership, but Zelensky admitted in March that Ukraine would not accept it, despite receiving security assistance from countries in the Western military alliance.

“In fact, we have already gone to NATO,” Zelensky said in a Telegram statement. “In fact, we have already demonstrated compatibility with Alliance standards. They are real for Ukraine – real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interactions. We trust each other, help each other, protect each other.

In practice, Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO have grown slim over the course of the Russian invasion. Member states, including the United States, have drawn clear lines: They arm Ukraine, but they don’t have their own troops on the ground out of concern about sparking a world war.

An hour before Zelensky’s announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow had illegally annexed Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions partially occupied by Russian forces. At the time of Putin’s speech, Zelensky was meeting with his National Security Council. “There will be no talks with Russia while Putin is president,” Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, said in a telegram. “We’re moving forward. To win.”

See also  Kevin McCarthy's Speaker Bids for Balance, Fails to Appease Hardliners Republicans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.