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Jens Stoltenberg travels to Ukraine – no NATO membership for the time being

Jens Stoltenberg travels to Ukraine – no NATO membership for the time being

Ukraine deserves a place in NATO, says its secretary general. Jens Stoltenberg is visiting Ukraine – and is taking away Kiev’s hopes of joining the alliance. At least for now.

During a visit to Kiev, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg dampened Ukraine’s hopes of an early invitation to join the Western defense alliance. He is firmly convinced that Ukraine has a place in NATO and he is working hard to ensure that Ukraine becomes a member of the alliance, the Norwegian said on Monday at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. However, in order to make a decision on admission, a consensus is needed among the 32 alliance members. And he doesn’t expect this to happen until the next summit of heads of state and government in July.

In Kiev, Stoltenberg once again appealed to all allies to further expand their military support for Ukraine. “The NATO partners have not delivered what they promised,” he criticized. The lack of ammunition enabled the Russians to make advances at the front. According to him, the attacker also benefits from a Ukrainian lack of air defense systems and long-range missiles.

Delivery of air defense announced

Stoltenberg said Monday that he expects new announcements from allies soon. “Arsenals can be replenished, lives lost cannot be recovered,” he said. In the current situation, in case of doubt, it is better to help Ukraine than to fulfill alliance goals for the supply of weapons and ammunition.

After Germany, Spain, the USA and Great Britain recently announced the delivery of additional air defense capacities. However, Ukrainian hopes have not yet been fulfilled, particularly in the area of ​​powerful Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems.

Zelensky confirmed that the first promised arms deliveries from the USA had already arrived. “But the process needs to be accelerated,” he said. There are no concrete commitments regarding the additional Patriot systems expected from Ukraine. However, there are first steps.

“Ukraine will become a member of NATO”

With regard to a possible NATO membership, Stoltenberg expressed the hope that Ukraine could be shown at the summit that they wanted to bring them further into the alliance. Among other things, it is about ensuring that the country’s armed forces fully meet NATO standards.

With the words “Ukraine will become a member of NATO,” Stoltenberg also referred to a NATO decision from 2008. At that time, the heads of state and government agreed with regard to Ukraine and Georgia “that these countries will become members of NATO.” .

However, there is currently no schedule for the recording, nor is there an official invitation. According to a summit declaration from last year, NATO will only be able to do the latter “if the allies agree and the conditions are met.” At the time, “additional necessary reforms in the areas of democracy and the security sector” were cited as concrete examples.

Statements from Scholz and Baerbock could deter Russia from negotiations

The federal government is also putting the brakes on Ukraine’s desire for a formal invitation to join NATO. Last year, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made it clear several times that, in their view, the Russian war of aggression must first end. The problem for Ukraine, however, is that this could be an argument for Moscow against starting negotiations. One of Russia’s declared war aims is to prevent its neighboring country from joining NATO.

Stoltenberg’s visit to Ukraine was the third visit since the Russian war of aggression began in February 2022. Like the previous ones, the visit was not announced in advance for security reasons.

Source: Stern

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