British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Wednesday that Ukraine needs to show more gratitude for the support it receives from the West when asked about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s criticism of NATO’s communiqué.
“Whether we like it or not, people want to see a bit of gratitude,” Wallace told reporters. A day earlier, Zelensky wrote on Twitter that it was “absurd” that Ukraine was not given an invitation to join NATO or a timeline on when membership might happen.
Wallace said Ukraine had a habit of being ungrateful and treating its NATO backers like an Amazon warehouse. “I told them that last year, when I drove 11 hours to be given a list, that I’m not like Amazon,” Wallace told reporters on the sidelines of the second day of NATO’s Vilnius summit.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan made similar comments in response to a question from a Ukrainian activist who suggested the US wanted to see Ukraine lose because Kyiv was not invited to join NATO. “The United States of America has stepped up to provide an enormous amount of capacity,” Sullivan said.
“I think the American people do deserve a degree of gratitude from the United States government for their willingness to step up and from the rest of the world as well,” Sullivan added.
Sullivan’s comments were likely a message to Zelensky, as The Washington Post reported that the US delegation in Vilnius was “furious” over the Ukrainian leader’s tweet. On the second day of the summit, Zelensky toned down the rhetoric and thanked the US for support after a meeting with President Biden.