There is no point in discussing when and how Ukraine can join NATO until it defeats Russia in the ongoing conflict, Jens Stoltenberg, the bloc’s Secretary General said on Monday.
He pledged the alliance was expected to send "a very clear message of support for Ukraine, and it will be shown in many ways”, during the forthcoming Vilnius Summit in July. "When it comes to accession, I expect NATO allies to say that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance. This has been said many times," Stoltenberg said, before noting “Ukraine has the right to choose its own path”.
"It is not Moscow that decides what Ukraine should do, but Ukraine. The issue of membership is decided by NATO allies and, of course, NATO's door remains open," he said.
The NATO Secretary General also noted he expected to agree on a several-year programme for Ukraine, in which allies would work on how to help the country’s transition from Soviet-era standards, doctrines and equipment to standard NATO doctrines and equipment and become fully NATO compliant.