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Zelenskyy: Ukraine can only join NATO after winning the war

Zelenskyy: Ukraine can only join NATO after winning the war Photo: Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Ukraine will become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance after winning the war with the Russian Federation, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated during a meeting with officers who are taking NATO-standard professional military education courses.

According to the President, he does not believe that Ukraine will be able to become a NATO member during the war. This is because some members of the alliance feel a risk or skepticism about this issue.

“Certainly, no one will raise the question of Ukraine's level of compatibility, its military level, when it is going through a full-scale war. Of course, these are high-level specialists in various fields,” he added.

According to Zelenskyy, the issue of NATO is a matter of majority, which, in turn, is a political aspect. In this regard, Ukraine must win the war to join.

The President added that, in his opinion, Russia decided to invade precisely because Ukraine was not a member of the Alliance at the time. At that time, some NATO member states were skeptical about Ukraine's integration, and the enemy continued to work with Kyiv's current partners.

“They had a dialog. It (Russia - ed.) did everything to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and the EU, to prevent Ukraine from developing, to prevent it from being cut off from Russia's influence. Therefore, to break away from this influence, we need to defend our independence and win,” he added.

Ukraine and NATO membership

After the outbreak of a full-scale war with Russia, Kyiv applied to join the North Atlantic Alliance. The application also provided for an accelerated procedure, that is, without a Membership Action Plan (MAP). In 2023, NATO member states decided on three parts that would bring Ukraine closer to NATO. They also decided to abandon the MAP.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna, the United States and Germany oppose an official inviting Ukraine to join the Alliance.

According to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Ukraine has a place in NATO, but the allies are unlikely to reach a consensus on this issue during the summit in Washington.