NATO commits to future Ukraine membership, drums up aid

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday reaffirmed the military alliance’s commitment to Ukraine, saying the war-torn country will one day join the world’s largest security organization.

Stoltenberg’s remarks came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his NATO counterparts met in Romania to drum up urgently needed support for Ukraine to ensure Moscow fails to defeat the country while depleting the energy. bombing infrastructure.

“NATO’s door is open,” Stoltenberg said. “Russia has no right of veto” against country entry, he said in reference to the recent entry of North Macedonia and Montenegro into the security alliance. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin “will soon have Finland and Sweden as NATO members”. The Nordic neighbors applied for membership in April, fearing Russia might attack them next time.

“We also adhere to that with regard to Ukraine’s membership,” said the former Norwegian prime minister.

Essentially, Stoltenberg reiterated a vow made by NATO leaders in Bucharest in 2008 — in the same sprawling parliament building where foreign ministers meet this week — that Ukraine, as well as Georgia, would one day join the alliance.

Some officials and analysts believe that this move — pushed by former US President George W. Bush — was partly responsible for the war Russia launched against Ukraine in February. Stoltenberg disagreed.

“President Putin cannot refuse sovereign nations to make their own sovereign decisions that pose no threat to Russia,” he said. “I think he’s afraid of democracy and freedom, and that’s the biggest challenge for him.”

Still, Ukraine will not join NATO any time soon. With the Crimean peninsula annexed and Russian troops and pro-Moscow separatists in control of parts of the south and east, it is not clear what Ukraine’s borders would look like.

Many of NATO’s 30 allies believe that the focus should now be solely on defeating Russia, and Stoltenberg stressed that any attempt to make progress on membership could divide them.

“We are in the middle of a war and therefore we must not do anything that could undermine the unity of allies to provide military, humanitarian and financial support to Ukraine, because we must prevent President Putin from winning,” he said.

During the two-day meeting, Blinken will announce substantial US support for Ukraine’s energy grid, US officials said. Ukraine’s network has been battered across the country by targeted Russian attacks since early October, in what US officials are calling a Russian campaign to weaponize the coming winter cold.

“We are all paying a price for Russia’s war against Ukraine. But the price we pay is in money,” Stoltenberg said on Tuesday, “while the price Ukrainians pay is a price paid in blood.”

At the meeting in Romania – which shares NATO’s longest land border with Ukraine – NATO is likely to make new commitments of non-lethal support to Ukraine: fuel, generators, medical supplies, winter equipment and devices to block drones.

Individual allies are also likely to announce new deliveries of military equipment to Ukraine – mainly the air defense systems Kiev is so desperately trying to protect – but NATO, as an organization, will not do so, lest it be dragged into a wider nuclear war. weapons. armed Russia.

The ministers will hold a working dinner with their Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday evening.

The foreign ministers of NATO candidates Finland and Sweden join the talks. NATO is eager to add the two Nordic nations to the defense forces lined up against Russia. Turkey and Hungary are still awaiting ratification of their applications. The 28 other Member States have already done so.

On Wednesday, ministers will also discuss ways to ramp up support for partners officials said are under Russian pressure: Bosnia, Georgia and Moldova.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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