Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has had a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss, among other things, Ukraine's aspirations for NATO membership.
This was reported in a readout on the website of the President of the Republic of Belarus.
In the conversation, they "touched upon the situation in Ukraine, as well as the country's aspirations for close cooperation with NATO," it said.
Lukashenko and Putin discussed a schedule of joint events and agreed to meet soon to discuss "the existing problems facing the countries."
Ukraine's accession to NATO
- In early April 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a telephone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, during which the Ukrainian leader called NATO membership is the only way to end the war in Donbas.
- "We are committed to reforming our army and defense sector, but reforms alone will not stop Russia. NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbas. Ukraine's MAP [Membership Action Plan] will be a real signal for Russia," Zelensky said then.
- He also called on NATO member states to further strengthen the presence of the Alliance in the Black Sea region.
- The Kremlin, in turn, said that Ukraine's NATO membership could only worsen the situation in Donbas.
- According to Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Ukraine's accession to NATO could allegedly lead to "irreversible consequences for Ukrainian statehood" and "large-scale escalation" in Donbas.
- Representatives of the defense departments of the United States, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, and the United Kingdom, meanwhile, confirmed that NATO's doors for Ukraine remain open.
- The latest head of Ukraine's mission to NATO was Vadym Prystaiko. However, in 2019, he became deputy head of the presidential administration and then foreign minister. Now the duties of the mission's head are performed by Heorhiy Tolkachov.