(WASHINGTON) US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that Ukraine will not get preferential treatment for its NATO membership process, despite Russia’s invasion.
In response to a question from reporters if he intends to make Kiev’s membership in NATO “easier,” Biden said, “No,” stressing that Ukraine must “respect all criteria. So we will not make it easy.”
Joe Biden also described the deployment of Russia’s first nuclear warheads in Belarus as “totally irresponsible”.
This proliferation comes as a result of an agreement announced in March between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who loaned his country’s territory to Russia to attack Ukraine.
Biden’s remarks come ahead of the upcoming annual NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, which will take place from July 11-12.
Ukraine will not be invited to join the alliance at this summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg specified on Friday, although he stressed that Ukraine would become “a member of NATO at some point.” The invitation is the first step in the membership process.
The alliance still wants to hold the first meeting of the new NATO-Ukraine Council with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the summit.
The Atlantic Alliance recently welcomed Finland, which on April 4 officially became 31 countryH member.
Sweden has yet to get the necessary green lights from two members, Turkey and Hungary, and is still on NATO’s doorstep for the time being.
After decades of neutrality and then military non-alignment since the end of the Cold War, the two Scandinavian countries announced their candidacy for NATO last May, as a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. alliance.