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Zelensky lashed out after Biden’s statements about Ukraine joining NATO

Zelensky lashed out after Biden’s statements about Ukraine joining NATO

President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg have reportedly agreed on language on NATO’s readiness to include Ukraine, a matter that has been causing some controversy before from the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

“We agree with the language that you proposed in relation to Ukraine’s future joining NATO,” Biden said, speaking briefly alongside Stoltenberg.

Stoltenberg, before Biden’s remarks, said the alliance was in agreement on how to handle Ukraine’s desire to be included.

“We agree with the collective and optimistic message about the way forward for Ukraine and its possible accession to NATO,” he stated.

Although the details of the agreement were not disclosed by either official, the terminology used will undoubtedly be closely scrutinized. Ukrainian representatives acknowledged that the country will not immediately receive NATO membership at this summit, but they envision a route or timetable defined in writing, to ensure that its inclusion will happen shortly.

President Biden is asking the country to implement more improvements in its democratic system before being considered for NATO membership, the Washington Post reported. An official has confirmed that Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the NATO summit on Wednesday, Politico reports.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized NATO’s procedure for creating terms on Ukraine’s membership on Twitter, stating that “discussions on specific language are taking place without Ukraine’s participation” and calling the current situation “unprecedented and ridiculous”.

We value our allies. We value our shared security. And we always appreciate an open conversation.
Ukraine will be represented at the NATO summit in Vilnius. Because it’s about respect.

But Ukraine also deserves respect. Now, on our way to Vilnius, we received signals that…

— Volodymyr Zelensky (@ZelenskyyUa) July 11, 2023

“We value our allies,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “We value our shared security. And we always appreciate an open conversation. Ukraine will be represented at the NATO summit in Vilnius. Because it is about respect. But Ukraine also deserves respect. Now, on the way to Vilnius, we have received signals that certain words are being discussed without Ukraine.”

“And I would like to emphasize that this wording is about the invitation to become a member of NATO, not about the membership of Ukraine,” he continued. “It is unprecedented and absurd when no deadline is set for either the invitation or the membership of Ukraine. While at the same time a vague phrase about “conditions” is added, even for invite Ukraine”.

“There seems to be no disposition either to invite Ukraine to NATO or to make it a member of the Alliance,” he added. “This means that a window of opportunity is being left to negotiate Ukraine’s NATO membership in the negotiations with Russia. And for Russia, this means motivation to continue its terror. Uncertainty is weakness. And I will discuss this openly at the summit.”

As NATO member countries deliberate on Ukraine’s application for membership at the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania this week, there are echoes of an earlier summit.

During the Bucharest summit in April 2008, NATO declared that both Ukraine and Georgia would be part of the US-led defense alliance, but did not provide a road map.

This announcement concealed disagreements between the United States, which advocated the inclusion of both countries, and France and Germany, which worried that such a move would provoke Russia.

While it could be seen as a smart diplomatic balancing act, some experts interpreted it as a double-edged sword: It warned Moscow that two former Soviet territories would join NATO, without providing the security that comes with membership.

Against the backdrop of NATO deliberations, Russian President Vladimir Putin is getting closer. During the Bucharest meeting, Putin tried to dissuade the leaders from joining Ukraine and Georgia in NATO.

Ukraine’s invitation to NATO could trigger a direct confrontation between nuclear-armed nations. Up to this point, all military support for Kiev from the West has come from individual member nations, not the NATO alliance as a whole.

As Reuters noted, Eastern European nations argue that the optimal way to prevent another Russian assault on Ukraine is to quickly bring Ukraine under the collective security protection offered by NATO membership after of the war They believe the wording of the Bucharest Declaration had minimal impact on Putin’s long-term goals.

However, others claim that promising Ukraine NATO membership after the war could incentivize Putin to maintain the conflict.

These critics suggest that the Bucharest declaration encouraged Putin to militarily challenge western Ukraine, leading to conflict in both Ukraine and Georgia.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdrew his country’s objection to Sweden’s application to NATO, clearing the way for the Nordic nation to join the military alliance.

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