Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says Ukraine is seeking to receive its Membership Action Plan (MAP) of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the short-term outlook.
Shmyhal announced this at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on February 9, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
"Our short-term strategy at the moment is indeed the aspiration to receive the MAP, and of course, we want to catch up with Georgia and receive the MAP, but we are working actively over this and we feel that our meeting today is quite a positive and symbolic signal, which gives us positive charge, and positive hope," he said.
The Ukrainian prime minister said Ukraine would remain an important and predictable NATO partner seeking to join the Alliance.
"The implementation of reforms is the basis for Ukraine to receive the NATO Membership Action Plan. This is our key short-term goal," he said. "At this stage, the Annual National Program plays the most important role in reforming Ukraine, approaching NATO standards and preparing for NATO membership," Shmyhal said.
In his words, Ukraine maintains a dialogue with NATO on a wide range of issues, including preparation for membership through the implementation of reform. This has been happening in combination with the issues of combating COVID-19 and countering Russian aggression, hybrid forms of warfare and cyber attacks. This also involves measures to enhance regional security, especially in the Black Sea region, and Ukraine's participation in peacekeeping missions and security operations led by NATO, as well as gender equality, strengthening national resilience and the like.
"First of all, when we talk about the future, the perspective and the aspirations of Ukraine, of course the NATO membership for Ukraine is a key priority, it is reflected in our Constitution. And we discussed it with the Secretary General, and we are absolutely ready. And we are indeed doing our homework very well, we have passed a number of legislations, we are reforming our armed forces, we are moving towards NATO standards, we are conducting joint maneuvers and exercises and work together in the peacekeeping operations in the name of the NATO contingent. We have got quite a number of achievements, which now give us hope that we can implement our homework quite quickly," he said.
According to him, "the achievement of the standards of NATO in the sector of security and defense of Ukraine will indeed be a precondition leading us to the NATO membership."
Ukraine-NATO: Previous developments
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview for Axios on the U.S.-based HBO channel 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 the hope that during Biden's presidency, Ukraine and the United States would enter a new stage of security enhancing relations.