Ukraine applies for NATO membership after Russia annexes territory

Ukraine applies for NATO membership after Russia annexes territory

The Guardian reports:

A defiant Volodymyr Zelenskiy has announced that Ukraine is officially applying for membership of Nato, hours after Vladimir Putin said in a Kremlin ceremony that he was annexing four Ukrainian provinces.

In a speech filmed outside his presidential office in Kyiv, Zelenskiy said he was taking this “decisive step” in order to protect “the entire community” of Ukrainians. He promised the application would happen in an “expedited manner”.

“De facto, we have already made our way to Nato. De facto, we have already proven compatibility with alliance standards. They are real for Ukraine – real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction,” he said. “We trust each other, we help each other, and we protect each other. This is the alliance. De facto. Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure.”

The president signed the application form, as did the speaker of parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, and the prime minister, Denys Shmyhal.

The alliance is unlikely to accept Ukraine’s imminent Nato entry while it is in a state of war. As a Nato member, fellow members would be compelled to actively defend it against Russia – a commitment that goes well beyond the supply of weapons.

Zelenskiy acknowledged this soon after Russia’s full-scale invasion. “It is clear that Ukraine is not a member of Nato, we understand this,” he said in March. “For years we heard about the apparently open door, but have already also heard that we will not enter there, and these are truths and must be acknowledged.”

In his address on Friday, shared on Telegram, Zelenskiy dismissed the ceremony in Moscow as a meaningless “farce”. He said no peace talks with Russia would be possible while Putin was president. “Putin doesn’t know what dignity and honesty is. We are ready for dialogue with Russia but only with a different Russian president,” he said. [Continue reading…]

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