Biden: war must end before NATO considers membership for Ukraine

Biden: war must end before NATO considers membership for Ukraine

Shafaq News / President Joe Biden told CNN in an exclusive interview that Ukraine is not yet ready for NATO membership, saying that Russia’s war in Ukraine needs to end before the alliance can consider adding Kyiv to its ranks.

Biden told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that while discussion of Ukraine’s imminent membership in NATO was premature, the US and its allies in NATO would continue to provide President Volodymyr Zelensky and his forces the security and weaponry they need to try to end the war with Russia.

Biden spoke to Zakaria ahead of his weeklong trip to Europe, which includes a NATO summit in Lithuania where Russia’s war in Ukraine and Zelensky’s push for NATO membership will be among the key issues looming over the gathering.

“I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war,” Biden said. “For example, if you did that, then, you know – and I mean what I say – we’re determined to commit every inch of territory that is NATO territory. It’s a commitment that we’ve all made no matter what. If the war is going on, then we’re all in war. We’re at war with Russia, if that were the case.”

Biden said that he’s spoken to Zelensky at length about the issue, saying that he’s told the Ukrainian president the US would keep providing security and weaponry for Ukraine like it does for Israel while the process plays out.

“I think we have to lay out a rational path for Ukraine to be able to qualify to be able to get into NATO,” Biden said, noting that he refused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands before the war for a commitment not to admit Ukraine because the alliance has “an open-door policy.”

“But I think it’s premature to say, to call for a vote, you know, in now, because there’s other qualifications that need to be met, including democratization and some of those issues,” Biden said.

On Friday, the White House announced that the US was sending Ukraine cluster munitions for the first time, a step taken to help bolster Ukraine’s ammunition as it mounts a counteroffensive against Russia. Biden told Zakaria that it was a “difficult decision” to give Ukraine the controversial ammunition, but that he was convinced it was necessary because Ukraine was running out of ammunition.


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