Russia should not be afraid of Ukraine’s future NATO membership, nor should it try to prevent it, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg said.

On Oct. 22 in Brussels, at the end of a two-day meeting of the defense ministers of the organization’s member states, commenting at the request of journalists on the statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine’s membership in the alliance would pose a threat to Russia, the Secretary General said that Russia does not need to be afraid of Ukraine joining the Alliance. Partly, because NATO is a defense alliance, and also partly because it is Ukraine and NATO allies who will decide when Ukraine is ready to join the alliance. No other country has the right to interfere or say no to this process.


Stoltenberg said that Ukraine is a sovereign, independent state. And a sovereign independent state has the right to decide its own path. Therefore, it is only Ukraine that will decide whether it wants to be a NATO member, and it is up to thirty allies to decide when Ukraine will meet NATO standards, he explained the position of the alliance.

However, the organization’s Secretary General said the expansion of NATO over the past decades has only brought peace and stability throughout Europe. Therefore, there is no reason for Russia to fear or have the right to use a veto or stop a sovereign state from joining the Alliance, Stoltenberg said.

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