Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba notes that the open door policy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should not turn into a "policy of promise feeding."
Speaking at a joint press conference with OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid in Kyiv on Wednesday, the foreign minister expressed gratitude to Ukraine's partners from NATO for the constant confirmation of the "open door" policy based on the decision of the 2008 Bucharest summit, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
Read alsoNATO sending to Ukraine experts on countering hybrid threats"But 13 years have passed since then, and not a step towards the implementation of that decision has been made. And when we are reproached here in Ukraine that we some of our reforms are too slow, then what can we say about the adoption and implementation of the Alliance's decisions, which for the past 13 years have been gathering dust. It is very important for Ukraine that the open door policy doesn't turn into a policy of promise feeding. So I'm deeply convinced – and this opinion is shared by many NATO Allies – that this is important not only for Ukraine, but also for the security of the Euro-Atlantic space," said Kuleba.
"If in 2008 a promise was made that Ukraine and Georgia will eventually become NATO members and the next step on this path should be the provision of MAP, it is difficult to imagine a better and more important moment for making such decisions than 2021. We speak frankly about this with our allies and NATO partners, and I think that it is high time to speak frankly with the Ukrainian public about this, so that people clearly understand that in matters of Euro-Atlantic integration the ball is not always on the Ukrainian pitch. And that we're waiting for the Alliance to pass that ball," noted Kuleba.
Ukraine-NATO relations: Background
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview for Axios on HBO that Ukraine wants to be an equal member of NATO. "We are grateful for everything, but Ukraine is not just saying in words that it wants to be an equal member of the Alliance, an equal member of NATO, because this is one of the most important security points – the same security that President [of the United States Joe] Biden is speaking about. How should we further state the desire to accede, if it is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine – the movement towards the European Union, European integration, as well as accession to NATO? Therefore, I have a very simple question – why is Ukraine still not in NATO? Putting away these phrases that we will all contemplate and communicate, the first simple question from me would be: 'Mr. President, why are we not in NATO yet?'" he said then.
Zelensky expressed hope that during Biden's presidency, Ukraine and the United States would enter a new stage of security enhancing relations.
On February 9, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine needed to focus on reform to get closer to NATO, whose "door remains open", including to strengthen democratic institutions, fight corruption, and introduce democratic political control over the Armed Forces.
At the same time, on February 17, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on NATO Allies not to keep the decision to provide a Membership Action Plan to Ukraine "hostage" of Russian myths about eastward expansion.