UKRAINE: On May 26th, Ukraine complained that there had been no progress in NATO’s “open-door” policy to Ukrainian membership.
It also failed understand why it was not invited to the Western military alliance’s summit., when it is not a member yet.
NATO meets on June 14 in Brussels in the hope of repairing transatlantic ties under U.S. President Joe Biden amid growing tensions with Russia.
“We understand the desire of the allies to hold a closed summit … but we do not understand how it is possible not to invite Ukraine,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, adding that the summit comes amid escalating tension on the Ukrainian-Russian border.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy this month called on NATO to strengthen its military presence in the Black Sea region and asked the United States to back Kiev bid for a NATO membership action plan at the summit.
So far, Kiev has gotten a bit of empty rhetoric and no actual, tangible support.
NATO said in 2008 that Ukraine could potentially become a NATO member in the future. 13 years later, little has changed.
Kuleba said Kiev was grateful to NATO for “constant confirmation of the open-door policy”, but added that not a single step has been taken to implement it.
“When we in Ukraine are accused of too slow reforms, what can we say about the adoption and implementation of the decisions of the alliance, which have been covered with dust for 13 years?” Kuleba said.
Kuleba stressed that it was important to prevent the open door policy from turning into a “policy of giving nothing but promises.” He said he was convinced that it was difficult to imagine a better and more important time than 2021 for granting the Membership Action Plan to Ukraine.
“We are talking openly about this with our NATO partners, and I think it is time to talk openly with Ukrainian society so that they clearly realize that the ball is not always in Ukraine’s court when it comes to Euro-Atlantic integration. And we are waiting for a pass from the Alliance,” Kuleba said.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price recently restated U.S. policy of supporting an “open door” to NATO for countries meeting “the standard for membership”.
Still, according to Washington, Ukraine still must “implement the … reforms necessary to build a more stable, democratic, prosperous and free country.”
Finally, Kuleba said he was puzzled how a “closed-door” NATO meeting could happen at the backdrop of Russia’s aggression.
“To be honest, we absolutely do not understand how a closed NATO summit can be held against the background of the Russian Federation’s aggressive actions against Ukraine in the Black Sea region and against the Alliance itself. I mean the latest events, the latest results of the investigation in the Czech Republic. We cannot understand this. How can they not invite Ukraine? How can they not find a format for [Ukraine’s] participation in this year’s summit?” Kuleba said.