NATO’s Secretary General has said Ukraine must prevail in the war against Russia before there can be further discussion on granting membership of the alliance.

Jens Stoltenberg said the “most urgent task now” is to “ensure that Ukraine prevails” and that “President Putin do not does not win this war.”

He added: “Because it is only if Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent nation in Europe, that there is any meaning in discussing when and how Ukraine can become a member of the alliance.”

Stoltenberg stressed that when NATO meets in July it will “send a very clear message of support to Ukraine and this will be manifested in many different ways.”

He added: “When it comes to membership. I expect that NATO allies will say that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance. This has been stated several times.”

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NATO’s secretary general added that Ukraine had the right to choose its own path. "It is not for Moscow to decide what Ukraine can do, it is for Ukraine," he said.

Stoltenberg also mentioned that NATO allies are expected to agree a multi-year program to help Ukraine transition to NATO standards and become interoperable with the alliance.

This would ultimately aid in Ukraine's move towards NATO membership. He emphasized that the decision on the issue of NATO membership is for NATO allies to make but that NATO's door remains open.

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