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Now is not the time for Ukraine to join NATO – member state president — RT World News



Lithuanian Gitanas Nauseda says kyiv should not be admitted to the military alliance until its conflict with Moscow is over

Ukraine’s aspirations to NATO membership must not materialize as long as the country remains locked in a military conflict with Russia, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has said. He noted, however, that a “defined roadmap” should be drawn up by mid-summer for the eventual accession of Kyiv.

In an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica published on Saturday, Nauseda said Ukraine must be allowed to join the US-led military bloc now. “That would be too difficult.” Kyiv’s leadership is also well aware of this fact, he added.

Instead, the alliance should “define the steps and the formulas of how to act afterwards” the conflict is over, Nauseda continued. He expressed hope that this can be done during the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 11-12, 2023.

He acknowledged that the question of Ukraine’s possible membership “will be the most complicated element to manage” during the event. According to the Lithuanian Head of State, some Member States are still reluctant to send “strong signals” to Ukraine.

Last week, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius claimed that “it is no longer the time to decide” on the possible future of Ukraine within NATO. Echoing the Lithuanian President, he said that this issue could be “thoroughly” envisaged that after kyiv managed to “repelling this attack.”

The decision must be made “with a cool head and a warm heart, and not the other way around” he stated.

Around the same time, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban tweeted “What?!” in response to an article reporting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s remarks in Kyiv last Thursday.

During a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the head of the military bloc said: “Ukraine’s rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family. Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO. Stoltenberg added that “Over time, our support will help make this possible.”

However, he refrained from proposing a deadline for Ukraine’s eventual membership of the alliance.

Commenting on Stoltenberg’s remarks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that preventing Ukraine from joining NATO remains one of the main goals of Russia’s military campaign against its neighbor.

Explaining the need for military action against Ukraine last February, President Vladimir Putin cited the country’s possible membership of the alliance as one of the reasons for the decision.



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