Ukraine’s application for NATO membership will reach Brussels soon, says Stefanishyna

In its request, Ukraine proposes that the alliance use an accelerated procedure of admission
In its request, Ukraine proposes that the alliance use an accelerated procedure of admission

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“The application (for Ukraine’s membership in NATO) is already on its way to Brussels, everything is in order, it will reach the headquarters and our other allied countries very shortly,” Stefanishyna said on Ukrainian national television.

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Stefanishyna said that in its request, Ukraine pointed to Sweden’s and Finland’s experience, proposing that the alliance use an accelerated procedure of admission, skipping the stage of the Membership Action Plan.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Sept. 30 that the country would apply for NATO membership on an expedited basis. The document was signed by the president, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk.

Read also: Ukraine's application to join NATO catches Biden administration off guard – Politico

According to Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President’s Office to Ukraine, Ukraine held consultations with NATO before filing its request to join the alliance on an expedited basis.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded to Ukraine’s request during the briefing on Sept. 30. He said that the doors of NATO remain open to all democratic countries of Europe. Stoltenberg affirmed that the alliance supports Ukraine’s right to choose its own ways and means to security guarantees.

However, Stoltenberg also noted that the decision on membership must ultimately be approved by all 30 members of the alliance. According to him, NATO is now focused on giving Ukraine direct support and help it needs to defend itself: “This is now the main direction and the primary focus of the NATO allies,” he said.

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Canada and the Baltic states immediately backed Ukraine's NATO membership application. Germany also supports Ukraine's bid to join NATO, but also said a unanimous decision was needed.

In the meantime, the White House said that it was “not the right time” for Ukraine’s admission to the alliance. U.S. news outlet Politico reported that Ukraine's announcement caught U.S. President Joe Biden's administration off guard.

Ukraine set its course towards membership of the European Union and NATO through amendments made to its constitution made on Feb. 21, 2019. The primary motivations for the amendments were Russia’s aggression and its occupation of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2014.

Ukraine requested that it be granted the NATO Membership Action Plan back in 2008, but it, along with Georgia, was refused.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine