Ukraine must continue to implement the reforms needed to join NATO, but an exact date has yet to be set. This was stated on Tuesday, February 9, by the Secretary General of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference following a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal.
“NATO’s door remains open. NATO made a decision on Ukraine’s membership in 2008 and remains committed to that decision. The focus now should be on implementing reforms. Reforms need to continue to ensure democratic political control, institutions and the military, ”he said. The recording of the press conference was posted on the alliance website.
Stoltenberg also called Ukraine “one of the closest partners.” He stressed that the closer a country is to NATO standards, the closer it is to membership.
“I cannot name a date, but we will continue to support Ukraine,” the secretary general stressed.
In turn, Shmygal said that Ukraine wants to expand cooperation with NATO in the field of security in the Black Sea. The prime minister also noted that Kiev remains an important NATO partner seeking to join the alliance.
At the end of January, Zelensky, in an interview with HBO, turned to US President Joe Biden and asked why Ukraine is still not a NATO member. He noted that he hopes for help from Washington.
Commenting on this appeal, Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov noted that NATO understands that Ukrainian nationalists need membership in the alliance only for the war with Russia.
On February 3, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that in order to become a NATO member, Kiev still needs to go through two intermediate stages: to receive an action plan for membership and a consensus decision of all participating countries.
In the summer of 2020, Kuleba announced that Ukraine received enhanced capabilities from NATO, and expressed confidence that this would “make both sides stronger.” Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy also addressed words of gratitude to the alliance, who considered that the new status is recognition of “Ukraine’s contribution to maintaining peace in the world.”
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in 2014 renounced its non-aligned status, and then enshrined in the constitution the desire to join the EU and NATO as the main goals of foreign policy.