President Joe Biden made clear Monday that Ukraine does not yet have the go-ahead to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a move long sought by Ukraine and vehemently opposed by Russia.
For a moment, it appeared Ukraine may be closer to joining the trans-Atlantic mutual protection treaty when President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared to announce a change on Twitter shortly before Biden began a news conference in Brussels, where he was attending a NATO summit.
Biden, who has previously called for Ukraine to join NATO, made clear that such a move had not been approved yet.
“School’s out on that question. It remains to be seen,” he said when asked for a “yes or no” about Ukraine joining the organization. “In the meantime we will do all we can to put Ukraine in a position to be able to continue to resist Russian physical aggression.”
“It depends on whether they meet the criteria. The fact is they still have to clean up corruption and the fact is they have to meet other criteria to get into the action plan.”
Biden is set to meet Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who’s voiced opposition to Ukraine joining NATO in the past.
NATO nations have a mutual-defense pact, meaning if one nation is attacked, the others will join in the response. It’s a provision that has been invoked only once, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
In his opening remarks, Biden said NATO will stand behind Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity,” but made no mention of the country joining the organization. / NBC
At the same time, the Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, apperas very optimist about entering NATO with his posts on Twitter’ s personal account:
”Commend @NATO partners’ understanding of all the risks and challenges we face. NATO leaders confirmed that Flag of Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance & the #MAP is an integral part of the membership process. Flag of Ukraine deserves due appreciation of its role in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security”.
Well that might take some time more…