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Zelensky says 'no point' in attending NATO summit if Ukraine not 'given a signal'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk June 3, 2023 1:55 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky listens during a press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the garden at Chequers on May 15, 2023 in Aylesbury, UK. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

President Volodymyr Zelensky said "there is no point" in Kyiv's attendance of the NATO Summit in Vilnius, unless the alliance offers a membership invitation or "some kind of signal."

"If we are not acknowledged and given a signal in Vilnius, I believe there is no point for Ukraine to be at this summit," Zelensky told the Wall Street Journal.

Some NATO allies are "afraid" about how Russia would react to Ukraine's potential NATO membership, and Ukraine acknowledges that it won't be part of NATO or "any powerful security alliance" until the war ends, Zelensky said.

The president said that "it's now too late," adding that "we should have gotten there 15 years ago" – referring to the Bucharest summit in 2008 in which Germany and France blocked Ukraine from joining NATO amid Russia's increased escalation threats.

Zelensky said that he "honestly" doesn't know whether NATO countries would admit Ukraine into the alliance even after the war is over.

"How many lives of Ukrainians are worth the phrase 'Ukraine will be in NATO after this war, after it's safe?'" Zelensky said during the WSJ interview.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Ukraine will be in NATO one day, but he remains to be vague on the timeframe.

Some countries, such as Estonia, support Ukraine's NATO membership, while others fear Russia's reaction to the alliance's further eastward expansion.

Zelensky: ‘We are ready’ for counteroffensive
“We are ready” for the counteroffensive, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal released on June 3. “We would like to have some things, but we can’t wait,” he added.
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