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Euromaidanpress
Euromaidan Press
24 Feb 2024
Orysia Hrudka


Ukraine joining NATO is a matter of when, not if, NATO chief says

Stoltenberg asserts that the Russian President’s actions have ironically brought Ukraine closer to NATO than ever before.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv, 2017. Photo: Depositphotos

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reflects on the ongoing struggle on the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion, expressing deep respect for the courage and sacrifice of the Ukrainian people defending their homeland.

Stoltenberg acknowledges the gravity of the current situation, emphasizing that President Putin’s ambition to dominate Ukraine persists with no signs of preparation for peace. Despite the challenges, he commends Ukraine for its resilience, noting significant territorial gains, pushing back Russian forces in the Black Sea region, and inflicting substantial losses on the invading army.

“The situation on the battlefield remains extremely serious. President Putin’s aim to dominate Ukraine has not changed. And there are no indications that he is preparing for peace. But we must not lose heart,” he said.

Highlighting Ukraine’s retained freedom and independence, Stoltenberg attributes this success to the unwavering courage of the Ukrainian people and substantial military and economic support from NATO Allies. Recent announcements of aid packages, covering essential capabilities like artillery ammunition, air defense, combat boats, F-16 equipment, drones, and demining equipment, underscore NATO’s commitment to bolster Ukraine’s defenses.

Addressing Putin’s initial objectives, Stoltenberg asserts that the Russian President’s actions have ironically brought Ukraine closer to NATO than ever before. He underscores ongoing efforts to enhance interoperability, establish a new Joint Analysis, Training, and Education Centre in Poland, and strengthen political ties through the NATO-Ukraine Council.

Stoltenberg concludes by affirming NATO’s unwavering support, declaring that Ukraine’s NATO membership is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when.’

“Ukraine will join NATO. It is not a question of if, but of when,” he stressed.

As preparations intensify for that historic day, NATO pledges to stand by Ukraine for both its security and the collective security of NATO member states.