Zelenskyy: ‘Absurd’ if NATO does not set timeframe for Ukraine to join alliance

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday it would be absurd if Ukraine is not offered a timeframe for NATO membership at an alliance summit in Lithuania.

Divisions in NATO are expected to prevent the Western military alliance offering Kyiv a date for accession or a straightforward invitation to join during the summit taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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“It’s unprecedented and absurd when (a) time frame is not set, neither for the invitation (to join NATO) nor for Ukraine’s membership. While at the same time vague wording about ‘conditions’ is added even for inviting Ukraine,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Zelenskyy and his team have been pressing NATO for a clear path for Ukraine to join once the war is over.

He said lingering uncertainty over Ukraine’s NATO membership would mean “a window of opportunity is being left to bargain (over) Ukraine’s membership in NATO in negotiations with Russia.

“And for Russia, this means motivation to continue its terror,” he said.

Indicating that he would attend the summit, he said: “Uncertainty is weakness. And I will openly discuss this at the summit.”

Moscow, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, said it was following the NATO summit closely and that it would take “measures to protect Russia’s own security.”

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