Volodymyr Zelensky, during a joint conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said that he understands that Ukraine can become a NATO member only when hostilities on its territory cease.
“We are adequate people, we understand that partners help us, they supply weapons, this helps us survive, we really need it. We understand that someone is now afraid to talk about our membership in NATO, because no one wants to unleash a world war. Indeed, this is logical and understandable, I want everyone to understand this. We are civilized and normal people, we understand that while the war is going on, Ukraine cannot be a member of NATO. All this is absolutely understandable, but very important signals were heard today at our bilateral meetings. These were signals that Ukraine would be a member of NATO, and this confidence, it seems to me, is felt for the first time. We will become a member of NATO when the conditions are right. I understand that this will happen when it is safe on our land,” the President of Ukraine said.
Zelensky also called the security guarantees for Ukraine announced at the summit an important legal step:
“These are not additional guarantees. We do not have real legal guarantees, we have actual guarantees - financial, sanctions, defense. It is important that this [security guarantees announced at the summit] could be the first legal document,” Zelensky said.
In turn, Jens Stoltenberg announced the establishment of the NATO-Ukraine Council:
“This is one of three elements that are included in the package that we agreed on today, which ensures that Ukraine will be even closer to NATO membership. The purpose of this decision is to strengthen political ties and interaction between NATO and Ukraine. The Council differs from the previous commission primarily in that this body can make decisions, and we meet on equal terms. Not that 31 members of the alliance meet with a partner, but this is a council where all together will make decisions on an equal footing. Meetings are held at the level of heads of state and government, as today, at the ministerial level, at the level of ambassadors, chiefs of staff.”