Zelensky: Biden Administration 'Not Yet Ready' to Offer NATO Membership to Ukraine

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jul.01 - 2024 1:31 PM CET

Photo: Consolidated News Photos / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Consolidated News Photos / Shutterstock.com
Zelensky highlighted his disappointment with the Biden administration

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has indicated in a recent interview that the United States is not prepared to extend a NATO membership invitation to Ukraine.

Speaking to Kyiv Independent, Zelensky highlighted his disappointment with the Biden administration, stating that they are hesitant to make such a move despite discussions within both political parties.

He expressed hope that the upcoming NATO summit in Washington this July might shed light on Ukraine's future path towards alliance membership. However, American officials have tempered expectations, suggesting that an invitation for Ukraine is unlikely at this time.

Challenges and Diplomatic Maneuvers Ahead of NATO Summit

In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Zelensky criticized the cautious stance of the Biden-led White House, noting that Ukraine must first achieve victory in its conflict with Russia before NATO membership can be seriously considered.

He lamented what he sees as a policy of one step forward, two steps back, and urged strategic partners like the U.S. to provide military support, including Patriot missile systems, a substantial number of F-16 aircraft, and the ability to use weapons within Russia if necessary.

The recent 10-year bilateral security agreement signed between Kiev and Washington at the G7 summit in Italy is seen as a step towards potential NATO membership, although it differs from NATO in its provisions for long-term defense and assistance rather than an immediate military response to an attack on Ukraine.

Strategic Implications and International Relations

Zelensky's comments underscore the complex diplomatic dance between Kiev, Moscow, and Washington, with Ukraine seeking stronger assurances amid ongoing tensions with Russia.

The reluctance of the U.S. to fast-track Ukraine's NATO membership reflects broader geopolitical considerations and concerns about escalating tensions with Russia, a key player in Eastern Europe.

As discussions continue, the Biden administration faces pressure to balance support for Ukraine's sovereignty with the imperative to manage relations with Russia and maintain stability in the region.

The upcoming NATO summit will likely provide further insights into the evolving dynamics of Eastern European security and the role of Ukraine in transatlantic alliances.