15 May 2021,   18:46
It’s a sovereign right of every nation like Ukraine to apply for membership - Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to NATO Headquarters for a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission on the security situation in and around Ukraine.

“It is for the 30 NATO allies to decide when Ukraine is ready for NATO membership and no one else has any right to try to meddle or to interfere in that process.

It’s a sovereign right of every nation like Ukraine to apply for membership, but that is the right for the 30 allies to decide when membership is going to be offered. This is an important principle because Russia is now trying to re-stablish some kind of sphere of influence, where they try to decide what neighbours can do.

That is a world we really try to leave behind. Those were big powers could decide what the small neighbours could do. So therefore we strongly support the sovereign right of Ukraine to apply, and to decide its own path, and then for the 30 allies, and only the 30 allies, to decide when the standards are met.

That’s also the reason why we are supporting efforts of Ukraine to reform, and modernize, reform is the only path, the best way towards further Euro Atlantic integration, and we strongly reject the idea that we hear from Moscow that Russia has a kind of veto, a right to deny other countries, the sovereign right to decide its own path, including what kind of security arrangements they want to be part of, including a membership of NATO”, -said NATO Secretary General.

“In 2008, at the Bucharest summit NATO made a promise to Ukraine and Georgia.

And we do believe that the Alliance is the institution that can be trusted, that keeps its promises. For us NATO membership of Ukraine is a matter of time. And there are no other criteria, which have to be met when it comes to the relations with Russia”, - added Ukrainian Foreign Minister.