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Ukraine can count on Lithuania's "unconditional support" in relation to NATO membership "even if it looks like an elusive goal," said Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas, according to Lithuanian media outlet LRT.
Despite the war in Ukraine, negotiations with 30 NATO member countries and other formal procedures should already begin, said Anusauskas.
"The Western countries cannot remain in the same position as before the war. Security guarantees for Ukraine must be increased now," he said.
On Oct. 2, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic made a statement in favor of Ukraine joining NATO.
On Sept. 30, Zelensky announced that Ukraine had applied for fast-track NATO accession after Russian dictator Vladimir Putin declared the annexation of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson oblasts.
On that same day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO would never recognize the Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory but emphasized that "NATO is not part of the conflict."