Kiev demands ‘accelerated’ admission to NATO, but the bloc’s chief insisted that it’s not party to the conflict
Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky (C), Prime Minister Denis Shmygal (R) and parliament chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk (L) pose with the document requesting fast-track NATO membership. © HANDOUT / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed an application to join NATO on Friday and demanded an accelerated procedure for admission. While pledging the bloc’s support for Kiev, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated that joining would require the consensus of all 30 members.
In a video address, Zelensky said Ukraine was already a “de facto NATO ally” and said he was applying to make it official, calling the ceremonial signing of the application a “decisive step.”
“We trust each other, we help each other, and we protect each other,” the AP quoted him as saying.
NATO had announced an “unprecedented” address by Stoltenberg after Zelensky’s video, but when the bloc’s secretary general actually appeared he repeated previous talking points.
“NATO is not party to the conflict, but we provide support to Ukraine so it can uphold its right for self-defense enshrined in the UN charter,” Stoltenberg said. “Ours is a defensive alliance. We stand united and determined to defend and protect every NATO ally and every inch of allied territory.”