Don't think Ukraine is ready for NATO membership: US President Joe Biden
Washington DC: US President Joe Biden said that he doesn't think Ukraine is ready for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership and added that NATO is a process that takes some time to meet all qualifications, from democratization to a whole range of other issues.
"I don't think it (Ukraine) is ready for membership in NATO," the US President said in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria when asked about Ukraine's NATO membership. Biden said he doesn't think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family in the middle of the war as that would mean the entire NATO is at war with Russia.
"I don't think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war. If the war is going on, then we're all in the war. You know, we're at war with Russia, if that were the case. So I think we have to lay out a path for a rational path for Russia, for you and me, for Ukraine to be able to qualify to get into NATO," Biden said.
The US President said that when he met Putin two years ago, in Geneva, the Russian President said he wants commitments on no Ukraine and NATO.
"I said, we're not going to do that because it's an open door policy. We're not going to shut anybody out. NATO is a process that takes some time to meet all the qualifications and from democratization to a whole range of other issues," Biden said.
"So in the meantime, though, I've spoken with Zelenskyy at length about this. One of the things I indicated is the United States would be ready to provide while the process was going on. And it's going to take a while while that process is going on to provide security," he said.
"If there is an agreement, if there is a cease-fire, if there is a peace agreement, and so I think we can work it out. But I think it's premature to say to call for a vote, you know, in now because there are other qualifications to be reminded clearly in democratization and some of those issues," Biden added.
Meanwhile, the White House on Friday said Ukraine's entry into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) will be discussed at the alliance's ensuing summit but it won't come out as a member.
Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Advisor, said that the summit to be held next week in Vilnius will highlight NATO's readiness to consider Ukraine's membership, which he termed a "milestone" in itself.
Sullivan said, "The NATO Summit will dive into the question of NATO's relationship with Ukraine, both the question of its pathway towards future membership and the question of an ongoing partnership that has existed for several years."
"Ukraine's pathway to NATO will be discussed at the summit, but Kyiv still has further steps that it needs to take before membership and Ukraine will not be joining NATO coming out of this summit," he added.
Sullivan noted that Ukraine would have the chance to talk about the reforms that are still essential for Kyiv to match NATO standards.