Zelensky Slams NATO Over Its ‘Absurd’ Delay To Ukraine’s Membership

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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has labelled NATO “absurd” for refusing to offer Ukraine a timetable for membership into the alliance and accused Western leaders of freezing him out of talks.

He said he had learned of the “unprecedented” decision while on his way to to the annual Nato summit in the Lithuanian capital in Vilnius.

In a twiiter post, Zelensky publicly attacked his closest allies by accusing them of planning to use Ukraine’s bid for membership into the military alliance as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Russia.

He wrote: 

MSN reports: He appeared to be referring to debates among allies about how to officially phrase their position on Ukraine’s future membership when the summit ends tomorrow afternoon.

The draft communique currently being discussed would  “extend an invitation” to Ukraine to join the alliance when “allies agree and conditions are met,” the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources who had seen the text.

Mr Zelensky says he wants Ukraine to join Nato after the current war is over to deter Russia from starting another one.

He earlier indicated he would refuse an invitation to attend the Vilnius summit unless meaningful progress towards that goal was secured.

Some prominent alliance members including the United States and Germany have signalled reluctance to endorse such a move, partly because of the danger of getting dragged into a direct war with Russia.

Members of the US delegation were “furious” after learning about Zelensky’s message, according to a report by the Washington Post.

The paper pointed out that Zelensky “blasting the alliance stood in stark contrast to the image of Western harmony that [US President Joe] Biden and his aides had been projecting” at the event.

This is likely to make a meeting scheduled to take place in Vilnius on Wednesday between the US and Ukrainian leaders “one of the summit’s most high-profile engagements,” it added.

A senior NATO official told WaPo that Zelensky’s “tweet puts pressure on the alliance,” while also helping him “to say, ‘I am fighting to the end’” to the population of Ukraine.

Niamh Harris
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