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NATO and Ukraine: A Long-Term Perspective and Current Priorities

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Ukraine would become a member of NATO in the long term. However, the current priority is supporting Ukraine's independence in the face of Russia's invasion.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General

Immediate Concern for Ukraine's Sovereignty

Stoltenberg emphasized the importance of Ukraine remaining a sovereign and independent nation. He stated that NATO allies have agreed on Ukraine's eventual membership, but the focus is on supporting the country's independence.

Ukraine's Membership Application and EU Status

After the Russian invasion, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky urged NATO to grant fast-track membership to his country. In February 2022, Ukraine applied for EU membership and was granted candidate status in June.

Stoltenberg on Putin's Plans and Historical Lessons

Stoltenberg expressed his concern that history may repeat itself after the war ends. He stated that President Putin is planning for more war, not peace and that NATO must prevent further attacks on its neighbors.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General

Finland and Sweden's Application to Join NATO

Spurred by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Finland, and Sweden dropped their military non-alignment policies and applied to join NATO in May 2022. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin stated her belief that the future of Ukraine includes being a part of the European Union and NATO.

Ratification of Finnish and Swedish Bids

Stoltenberg stated that Finland and Sweden have delivered their promises in their trilateral agreement with Turkey in June 2022. He urged the remaining members, Turkey and Hungary, to ratify the Finnish and Swedish bids and welcome them as full members.