According to Jens Stoltenberg, Ukraine can get security guarantees from the main NATO countries when the war against Russia ends.
– If NATO countries, especially large member states, give security guarantees to Ukraine, we are very close to Article 5, the NATO Secretary General said at a security conference in Copenhagen on Monday afternoon.
Article 5 of the NATO Treaty is the security guarantee for member states that other NATO countries will come to the rescue in the event of a military attack.
His predecessor as NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, interviewed Stoltenberg, via video link between Copenhagen and Brussels.
When asked by Rasmussen what kind of response Ukraine would get to its application for NATO membership from the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius in July, Stoltenberg said that talks were still ongoing between NATO countries, and that he would not give the answer.
Ukraine must live
– But I expect the summit will send a message to Ukraine about support in many ways. I expect that they will say that at some point Ukraine can become a member of the coalition, as we have said many times. Stoltenberg responded that it was up to Ukraine, not Moscow, to decide their future security.
He added that there is likely to be a multi-year support program that will help Ukraine gain membership.
– But the most important thing now is the survival of Ukraine as an independent and sovereign state. Only then does it make sense to grant them membership, Stoltenberg said.
Ukraine wants NATO membership – it gets a multi-year program
Brussels (VG) NATO will work to strengthen the alliance’s relations with Ukraine. But a concrete plan for future membership emerges…
Ask for clarification
In a video appeal to the conference in Copenhagen, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was still waiting for positive signals from the NATO summit regarding membership:
It is time to remove the greatest uncertainty in European security. The Ukrainian president said that a positive political decision on NATO membership would be agreed upon.
He will leave NATO this fall
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, 70, was NATO’s Secretary General from 2009 to 2014, when Stoltenberg took over. Rasmussen asked his successor what kind of qualifications the next NATO Secretary General should have:
– I have been in NATO for almost nine years, and I am fully focused on this until my term ends in October. It is not for me to say what kind of qualifications the successor should have. Stoltenberg replied, but I am firmly convinced that 31 countries with a billion people will find a great successor.
Rasmussen also asked if Stoltenberg was ready to stick around for a few more months, until NATO’s 75th anniversary in 2024:
– I have no other plans than to leave NATO this fall. “I’ve been here twice as long as I originally planned,” Stoltenberg said.
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