On Thursday, Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky downplayed the chance of Ukraine joining NATO in an interview with the German newspaper Bild.
Zelensky said that despite Ukraine’s desire to join the Western military alliance, the process was not advancing. Some NATO member states would not approve Ukraine’s membership, which Zelensky recognized.
“Not only Russia is against [our] membership. Some individual NATO members support Moscow’s position. That is an open secret,” he told Bild. Zelensky didn’t mention any countries by name, but Germany and France have been opposed to the prospect.
“The road to NATO and the EU is a very long one,” Zelensky said. President Biden recently said that Ukraine won’t be joining NATO in the “near term,” citing other NATO members’ opposition and corruption inside Ukraine.
Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership is at the center of the current crisis between the US and Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said this week that Western officials had assured him Ukraine’s membership isn’t on the agenda, but he wants a written guarantee.