NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg Claims Ukraine Will Join Alliance in the “Long-Term”

During a visit to Helsinki, Finland on February 28, 2023, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that Ukraine will become a member of the military alliance in the “long-term.” However, Stoltenberg stressed that Ukraine will need to stay independent in the short yo medium term as it fends off Russia’s invasion.

NATO has long desired incorporating Ukraine into its fold as a way to poke Russia in the eye.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky requested that it’s NATO membership bid be fast-tracked.

In addition, Ukraine applied for EU membership days following Russia’s invasion, and was able to achieve candidate status in June.

“Nato allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member of our alliance, but at the same time that is a long-term perspective,” Stoltenberg said to reporters during his visit to Helsinki.

“What is at issue now is that Ukraine can prevail as a sovereign independent nation.”

Zelensky has pushed for expedited accession into NATO, but it remains to be seen if other NATO members will follow through with accepting Ukraine’s potential membership bid even after the Russo-Ukrainian conflict subsides.

When the Russo-Ukrainian conflict ends, “we need to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself,” Stoltenberg declared, during a press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

“President Putin cannot continue to attack neighbours. He wants to control Ukraine and he is not planning for peace, he is planning for more war,” he added.

Adding Ukraine to NATO would be a total disaster given how Russia desires Ukraine to be a neutral buffer state. This topic may end up becoming irrelevant if NATO countries continue pouring military aid into Ukraine, which will compel Russia to pursue more maximalist aims and leave Ukraine as a weakened rump state that is fully on the EU/NATO dole. 

If there is any lesson to be learned here, it’s that escalating matters in Ukraine will result in further tragedy and destruction. 

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