Facing a building threat from Russia, Ukraine’s president sought security guarantees from the NATO chief in a meeting on Thursday and came away with a renewed commitment that his country could eventually join the military alliance despite stiff objections from its Russian neighbors, APA reports citing New York Times.
Though Western leaders have made that pledge before, the timing of the statement by NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, sent an unmistakable message of support for Ukraine against any new Russian aggression that may come.
Ukrainian officials have been pleading with their NATO allies for weeks for weaponry they say they need to deter or possibly defend themselves in case of a major military incursion by Russia that Ukrainian and Western intelligence agencies predict could begin within weeks or months. But NATO, like the leaders of Western countries and the White House, declined to make specific commitments to augment the military support it already provides, largely ruling out the provision of additional weapons systems or troops.
Standing next to the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Mr. Stoltenberg referred to a 2008 summit in which NATO members promised membership to both Ukraine and Georgia, without specifying a time frame.