Zelensky Miffed Over NATO Inaction, Demands Membership & Security Guarantees ‘Now’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is letting his frustration and impatience over the question of entering the NATO military alliance be known. “Our future is in the European Union. Ukraine is also ready to be part of NATO. We are waiting for NATO to be ready to accept Ukraine,” he said Thursday to journalists just ahead of a summit of the European Political Community in Chisinau, Moldova.
At the summit, he demanded that Ukraine receive security guarantees “now” and emphasized the best way to ensure this is acceptance into NATO. But the idea of ‘security guarantees’ has also long been under discussion, with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday having explained that the country could be give “something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership.”
Zelensky continued in his address to the Moldova summit, “In Vilnius, a clear invitation to Ukraine is needed” – which is a reference to NATO’s annual summit in Lithuania next month.
“Doubts must vanish. Positive decisions for Ukraine will be positive for everyone,” Zelensky stressed. “There should be no hot war or frozen conflict on our continent,” he added, telling European leaders: “When there are no security guarantees, there are only war guarantees.”
But behind the scenes the Ukrainian leader is reportedly miffed at NATO and European inaction and waffling, and his rhetoric has been more aggressive outside public addresses.
The Financial Times wrote Wednesday, “Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has made clear to Nato leaders that he will not attend the Vilnius summit without concrete security guarantees and a road map for accession, according to people briefed on those conversations.
The has dialed up the pressure on the West and leaders of the most powerful NATO countries, The Wall Street Journal emphasized in follow-up on Wednesday.
Macron seems the first among these leaders to be responding positively, despite the fact that NATO Article 5 could trigger certain war between Western powers and Russia if Ukraine were to be formally admitted to the alliance. According to more from the FT:
French president Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday called for Ukraine to be granted a Nato membership “path” next month. While he did not commit to endorsing full membership for Ukraine, it represented a potentially influential shift in Paris’ stance. Intense discussions are now under way among Ukraine’s western backers about what form security guarantees could take and how much money would be pledged towards them, said a French official.
🚨Zelensky demands Ukraine be invited to join NATO now, before the NATO summit, or else… pic.twitter.com/E8eZeTiZ6B
— US Civil Defense News (@CaptCoronado) June 1, 2023
But Germany is among leading countries still rejecting this as a realistic approach. FT in April had cited multiple unnamed German officials who said Berlin remains against offering Kiev “deeper ties” to the alliance, and is against a potential roadmap as well.
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