NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has promised that the alliance will admit Ukraine one day and will continue to support Ukraine despite Russia’s “dangerous and reckless nuclear rhetoric.”
He went on to say that Kyiv can win the war and become a full NATO member one day.
At a news conference on Monday, April 3, Stoltenberg told the Kyiv Independent that “NATO’s position remains unchanged, and Ukraine will become a member of the alliance.”
NATO’s long-time leader emphasized that the “main focus” now is to ensure Ukraine’s continued sovereignty and independence in Europe.
“The first step toward any membership of Ukraine to NATO is to ensure that Ukraine prevails, and that is why the U.S. and its partners have provided unprecedented support for Ukraine,” he added.
“I cannot give you an exact date, but what I can say is that allies are extremely focused on ensuring that Ukraine prevails,” Stoltenberg told the Kyiv Independent.
He added that the allies continue to provide a “consistent level of support” for Ukraine and demonstrate that “NATO’s door remains open.”
Stoltenberg’s comments about Ukraine’s seemingly far-away prospects of joining the 30-member alliance come six months after President Volodymyr Zelensky applied for a fast-track NATO accession following Russia’s said annexation of four Ukrainian regions in September.
Despite the NATO leader’s reassurance that Ukraine is set to join the alliance one day, the alliance had kept the country at arm’s length even before Russia’s invasion.
Stoltenberg said that Ukraine needs to implement reforms – from fighting corruption to modernizing the defense sector – to move closer to NATO.
According to Stoltenberg, in the upcoming meeting, member nations will be discussing an “urgent need” to continue lethal and non-lethal support for Ukraine.
“A lot has already happened, but we need to do more, and we need to work on this from a more multiyear, long-term perspective” to help Ukraine against “Russia’s brutal war of aggression,” Stoltenberg said.