Ukraine must first win the war against Russia to join NATO, John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesperson stated at a press briefing on Monday.

He said that both the Alliance and the United States have discussed this requirement, adding that President Joe Biden believes NATO membership is in Ukraine’s future.

“First they gotta win this war,” Kirby said.

According to Kirby, the US is doing everything possible to ensure that Ukrainians achieve victory and will support them “every step of the way.” He cited a bilateral security agreement signed by Biden at the G7 summit – joining the efforts of over a dozen other countries to support Ukraine's long-term defense capabilities.

Kirby added that this bilateral security agreement would help Ukraine defend itself while working on the necessary prerequisites for NATO membership.

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Ukraine, like other prospective members, must meet several requirements before joining the Alliance, including building a robust defense industrial base, Kirby said.

Kirby also highlighted that even after the war, Ukraine will face a significant security threat due to its long border with Russia.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, without laying out a specific timeframe, also expressed confidence that Ukraine will eventually join NATO, during a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in Brussels at the beginning of April.

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Speaking at the biannual NATO summit, Blinken said that the purpose of the assembly was “to help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward.”

Regarding NATO membership, Kuleba in his turn said, “Ukraine deserves to be a member of NATO” and that this should happen “sooner rather than later.”

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