NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine would become a member of the alliance once allies agree and conditions are met. Earlier, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticised the alliance for not setting a time frame to extend an invitation or to make them a member of NATO.
Talking to presspersons about NATO's palans for Ukraine, Stoltenberg said, “We reaffirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO and agreed to remove the requirement for a Membership Action Plan. This will change Ukraine’s membership path from a two-step process to a one-step process.”
Stoltenberg said Ukraine would become a member of NATO when conditions are met. “We will issue an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO when Allies agree and conditions are met. This is a strong package for Ukraine. And a clear path towards its membership in NATO,” he said.
The NATO chief said membership to the alliance has always been conditions-based. “If you look at all the membership processes, there have not been timelines for those processes. They are conditions-based, have always been,” The Guardian quoted Stoltenberg as saying.
In a communique issued after the summit, the group said, “The security of Ukraine is of great importance to Allies and the Alliance. We have decided to establish the NATO-Ukraine Council, a new joint body where Allies and Ukraine sit as equal members to advance political dialogue, engagement, cooperation, and Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. It will provide for joint consultations, decision making, and activities, and will also serve as a crisis consultation mechanism between NATO and Ukraine.”
The communique criticised Russia for its war against Ukraine. “The Russian Federation is the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. Russia bears full responsibility for its illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, which has gravely undermined Euro-Atlantic and global security and for which it must be held fully accountable.”
“Russia must immediately stop this illegal war of aggression, cease its use of force against Ukraine, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its forces and equipment from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, extending to its territorial waters,” the communique said.
Ukraine President Zelenskyy, addressing at the summit said, “NATO will give Ukraine security. Ukraine will make the Alliance stronger.”