Stoltenberg’s Visit Marks Significant NATO-Ukraine Relations

by Roman Cheplyk
Monday, April 29, 2024
Stoltenberg’s Visit Marks Significant NATO-Ukraine Relations

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Ukraine on a working trip on April 29, meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky

This visit marks Stoltenberg's third trip to Ukraine since the onset of the full-scale war.

During a post-meeting press conference, President Zelensky highlighted the significance of this visit, stating, "Today we can acknowledge that Ukraine and the Alliance have achieved the most substantial level of relations in our entire history of independence, yet there is potential for more."

Zelensky emphasized that Ukraine's future inclusion in NATO seems inevitable as Europe's security cannot be envisioned without Ukraine's active contribution. "The necessity to integrate Ukraine reflects not only on its defense but as a crucial component for the long-term security of the Euro-Atlantic area," he explained.

He further noted that Russia's attempts to use Ukraine as a platform for destabilizing Europe underscore the critical need for Ukraine's robust defense mechanism, essential for enduring stability and security across the region.

Following Russia's annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Donbas in 2014, Ukraine moved away from its non-aligned status, steadfastly pursuing NATO membership—a stance enshrined in its Constitution.

By 2018, NATO acknowledged Ukraine as a membership aspirant, and in 2020, it was granted Enhanced Opportunities Partner status. The conclusions of the 2023 Vilnius NATO Summit clarified that Ukraine does not require a Membership Action Plan but is yet to receive an official invitation to join. The Summit's communiqué expressed readiness to invite Ukraine once all allies concur and conditions are fulfilled.

Secretary General Stoltenberg has articulated that Ukraine's victory is a prerequisite for initiating membership discussions, with NATO members actively supporting Ukraine toward this end.

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