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President Joe Biden threw cold water on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's Monday assertion that Ukraine would join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a new member.
Zelensky tweeted just prior to Biden taking the stage for a press conference wrapping up an alliance leaders' summit that "NATO leaders confirmed that [Ukraine] will become a member of the Alliance." His tweet came after allegedly pressing Biden to provide an official "yes or no" answer on Ukraine's membership when the duo chatted Monday morning.
"It depends on whether they meet the criteria," Biden answered in response to a question on the subject during the evening press conference.
The U.S. president claimed that Ukraine still has to "clean up corruption" and "meet other criteria to get into the action plan."
"School's out on that question," he continued. "It remains to be seen."
Biden did say that NATO allies "will do all that we can to put Ukraine in the position to be able to continue to resist Russian physical aggression, and it will not just depend on me whether or not we conclude that Ukraine can become part of NATO. It will depend on the alliance and how they vote."
"The reiteration of Bucharest. Though the words membership and MAP are there," a Baltic official told the Washington Examiner of Zelensky's claim following Biden's comments. "But de facto their meaning are not as strong as Zelensky would like to see."
You can watch Biden's entire press conference below.
–ˆ Joel Gehrke contributed to this report.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Christian Datoc
Original Location: 'It remains to be seen': Biden says 'school's out' on Ukraine joining NATO