US President Joe Biden said that Ukraine is not yet ready for NATO membership. He said the military alliance could consider including the war-torn nation only after the ongoing Russian offensive in Kyiv ends.
In an interview with the CNN news channel on Sunday night, Biden said it was “premature” to talk about NATO membership to Kyiv. He said that although the US and NATO allies would continue to provide security and weapons to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his forces, they needed to try to end the war with Russia.
Biden said, “I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO on whether or not to bring Ukraine into the coalition family at this time in the middle of the war.”
The President said that he had talked in detail with Zelensky on this issue. He has told his Ukrainian counterpart that until the process is complete, the US will continue to provide security and arms for Ukraine as it does for Israel.
Biden told CNN, “I think we have to create a rational path for Ukraine to be eligible to join NATO.
Biden made the remarks before leaving for a week-long trip to Europe. On Tuesday and Wednesday of his visit, he will attend the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The Russia-Ukraine war and Zelensky’s push for NATO membership will be the main focus of discussion at the summit. The meeting will also be attended by leaders of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and the European Union.
In response to Washington’s announcement last week to send cluster munitions to Ukraine for the first time, Biden told CNN that giving Kyiv the controversial munitions was a “difficult decision” but he was convinced it was necessary because the war-torn country’s arsenal was coming to an end.