In a significant development, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed confidence that his country will soon become a member of NATO. As leaders from the alliance gather for a crucial meeting, Zelensky affirmed that Ukraine deserves to be part of NATO, citing its possession of advanced weaponry and shared values with the alliance. While specific wording is still being worked on, Zelensky emphasized that Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO is a matter of when, not if.
The announcement came ahead of a summit where NATO leaders are expected to discuss various issues, including enlargement of the alliance. A US official, quoted by Reuters, revealed that President Joe Biden will hold a one-on-one meeting with President Zelensky during the summit, further underscoring the importance of Ukraine’s aspirations.
President Biden’s meeting with Zelensky comes at a time when the United States is actively engaged in shaping NATO’s future. Just recently, Biden welcomed Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for supporting Sweden’s bid to join NATO, expressing his anticipation of welcoming Sweden as the 32nd NATO ally. Biden extended his gratitude to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for his resolute leadership in fostering defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic area.
While Ukraine still faces challenges due to the ongoing conflict in the region, Zelensky stressed the need for a clear signal from the alliance to demonstrate that Ukraine’s membership is recognized. He acknowledged that the process might take time but emphasized the urgency of a strong affirmation of Ukraine’s place within NATO.
The summit in Lithuania is expected to provide an opportunity for NATO leaders to discuss the “algorithm” for Ukraine’s accession, as mentioned by Zelensky. The details of this process will be crucial in determining the timeline and requirements for Ukraine’s membership.
As the situation unfolds, Ukraine remains steadfast in its commitment to aligning itself with Western institutions and bolstering its security. Joining NATO would not only provide Ukraine with a security umbrella but also strengthen the alliance’s Eastern flank.
The meeting between Presidents Biden and Zelensky will be closely watched, as it signifies the United States’ continued support for Ukraine’s aspirations. The engagement of the world’s most powerful military alliance in the region could have significant implications for the ongoing conflict and stability in Eastern Europe.
The coming days will shed more light on the progress made during the summit and the reaffirmation of Ukraine’s de facto NATO membership. The eyes of the international community will be on the alliance’s decision and the steps taken to integrate Ukraine as a full-fledged member, signaling a clear commitment to the nation’s security and stability in the region.
Sources By Agencies