NATO ‘must confirm’ Ukraine is ‘de facto’ member – Zelenskyy
Foreign News

NATO ‘must confirm’ Ukraine is ‘de facto’ member – Zelenskyy

Most NATO members stand together with Ukraine and the alliance’s upcoming Lithuania summit must confirm Kyiv is a de facto member, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says.

Zelenskyy also indicated, on Monday, that further pledges of arms supplies for Ukraine will be forthcoming at the Vilnius gathering.

“The majority of the alliance stands firmly with us,” Zelenskyy said in his video message.

“When we applied for membership of NATO, we spoke frankly: de facto, Ukraine is already in the alliance.

“Our weapons are the weapons of the alliance. Our values are what the alliance believes in … Vilnius must confirm all this.”

NATO members continue to debate questions about the type of weapons and how many to provide Kyiv. Ukraine’s leader also seems assured that more are on the way.

“I am sure that there could well be positive news regarding weapons for our men from Vilnius,” Zelenskyy said.

NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, said Kyiv will not become a member while war rages.

Stoltenberg added that the summit will not issue a formal invitation to Ukraine.

Still, allies are divided over how swiftly Ukraine should be allowed to join after the fighting ends.

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Eastern European countries say they would offer a road map to Kyiv.

But the United States and Germany are wary of any move that might take the alliance closer to war with Russia.

Finland’s Foreign Minister, Elina Valtonen, told Al Jazeera the alliance is “committed to Ukraine’s membership in NATO in the future”.

NATO also promised to discuss placing future architecture once the aggressor leaves the country and ends the war.

But at present, Valtonen said efforts would focus on further aid and support for Ukraine.

The US last week announced it decided to send cluster munitions to Ukraine to help its military push back invading Russian forces entrenched along the front lines.

More than 120 countries have signed the 2008 United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions to ban their use – including some of Ukraine and the US’s key allies such as France and the United Kingdom.

NATO will also raise targets for the stockpiling of ammunition as Kyiv is burning through shells much faster than Western countries can produce them.

At the same time, allies will show how they aim to implement NATO’s goal, agreed at last year’s Madrid summit, of putting more than 300,000 troops on high alert to counter Russia, up from 40,000 in the past.


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