‘We need more’ before Ukraine can join NATO, Stoltenberg says

A day after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted NATO leaders had “confirmed” it would become a member, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made clear no such action was imminent, Defense News reported.

‘We need more’ before Ukraine can join NATO, Stoltenberg says

‘We need more’ before Ukraine can join NATO, Stoltenberg says

STEPANAKERT, JUNE 16, ARTSAKHPRESSStoltenberg’s remarks came a day after President Joe Biden refused to give a “yes” or “no” to Ukraine joining NATO while at the alliance’s annual summit in Brussels on Monday. Biden did say during a press conference that the U.S. and other NATO allies affirmed support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Ukraine is an aspirant country,” Stoltenberg told the Washington-based Defense Writers Group on Tuesday. “We provide support to them, especially to continue to modernize and refine their defense and security institutions, civilian-political control over their security services, and not least fighting corruption.”

He added: “We have different building-integrity programs, which are very much about how to fight corruption as part of the reforms ... which Ukraine has already embarked on, but we need more. We need to do more with them to make sure they are fully implemented.”
“To agree on the membership action plan, you need consensus among 30 allies. This was not the focus of this summit,” Stoltenberg said.

When Biden was asked Monday whether NATO had allowed Ukraine to join, he said it would depend on Ukraine’s anti-corruption activities and its implementation of NATO’s criteria to get to the membership action plan.