NATO affirms ‘open door policy’ for Ukraine and Georgia — RT World News

The head of the US-led military bloc still could not offer a timetable for when kyiv could join

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization reiterated its 2008 promise to admit Ukraine and Georgia – two of Russia’s neighbors – into the Western alliance, insisting that NATO will continue to expand its presence across Eastern Europe in response to Moscow’s ongoing military offensive.

Following meetings in the Romanian capital of Bucharest on Tuesday, NATO foreign ministers issued a statement reaffirming the 14-year promise to one day grant membership to Kyiv and Tbilisi – made for the first time at an alliance summit in the same city in 2008.

Joined by their counterparts from the two NATO candidates, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova, the foreign ministers declared that they « strongly support our commitment to the alliance’s open door policy » and « reaffirm the decisions we took at the Bucharest summit in 2008 and all subsequent decisions regarding Georgia and Ukraine. »

The officials went on to condemn Russia’s military action in Ukraine as « the most serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades » and pledged to continue to help Kyiv “as long as necessary”.

The statement also announced that NATO would create a « a new foundation for our deterrence and defense posture by significantly strengthening it and further developing the full range of robust, combat-ready forces and capabilities » in Europe.

In remarks at the opening of Tuesday’s summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained how the alliance would boost its military presence, saying it had « doubled the number of NATO battlegroups from four to eight » and is currently working on ways to rapidly expand these units and deploy « pre-positioned equipment ».

While Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO is « not a party to the conflict in Ukraine », he said the block provided « unprecedented support » in kyiv to ensure it « prevails as an independent sovereign state. » He noted that Western aid long predates the start of the Russian offensive in February, pointing out that NATO forces trained « tens of thousands of soldiers » since 2014, helping to make the Ukrainian army « Much bigger, much better equipped and much better directed. »

NATO revisits idea of ​​supplying kyiv with fighter jets - former supreme commander

The NATO chief also said the alliance « the door is open » to new members, citing the latest admissions from Montenegro and North Macedonia, as well as recent applications from Finland and Sweden. However, when asked when Ukraine might finally be admitted to membership, Stoltenberg hinted that the matter would not be settled for some time.

« The main objective now is to support Ukraine, ensuring that [Russian President Vladimir Putin] don’t win but may Ukraine win, » he said, without providing details on the status of Kyiv’s formal membership application filed in September.

Despite NATO’s so-called « open door policy », the alliance requires aspiring members to meet certain criteria before joining, including maintaining a democratic political system and market economy, fair treatment of minority groups, civilian control of the military, and some level of compatibility with existing NATO forces, among others. It is unclear whether Ukraine has met these demands, as Western officials have been reluctant to discuss a specific timeline for when NATO will deliver on its 2008 pledge.


Back to top button