June 5, 2023: On Thursday, U.K. Prime Minister stated Ukraine’s “proper place” is within the NATO military alliance.
On Thursday, Sunak stated that he agreed with earlier statements by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Ukraine is on the path toward NATO membership.
“I coordinate with the NATO Secretary-General; Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO,” Sunak stated.
Britain’s prime minister said that allied nations were sending a “strong signal” to Russian President Vladimir Putin that they would safeguard Ukraine’s security arrangements for the long term.
“We want to confirm that we put in place security arrangements for Ukraine for the long term so that we send a very strong signal to Vladimir Putin that we’re not going anywhere,” he said.
Sunak was speaking in Moldova, where heads of state from EU and non-EU countries are gathered for the second annual meeting of the European Political Community.
Earlier Thursday, Stoltenberg said, “NATO’s door is open for new members” ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in Oslo, Norway.
Stoltenberg said that all members agreed that Ukraine would become a member of the alliance, though he did not give a proper timeline for the enlargement.
“All allies also agree that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance, and all allies agree that it is for the NATO allies and Ukraine to decide when Ukraine becomes a member,” Stoltenberg said.
NATO members have been divided on their requirements for Ukraine to join the military alliance. Eastern European countries have said they want Kyiv to join as soon as possible, while many Western states have preferred to move more cautiously for fear of Russian aggression.
However, Stoltenberg said that Moscow should not be allowed to have “a veto against NATO enlargement.”
The informal meeting in the Norwegian capital comes ahead of a full NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11-12, where other topics up for discussion will be Sweden’s final accession to the group following long, drawn-out resistance from Turkey.
Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to prepare for a highly anticipated counter-offensive against Russia.