Annexations in Ukraine: Kyiv calls for accelerated NATO membership | War in Ukraine

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Annexations in Ukraine: kyiv calls for accelerated NATO membership | War in Ukraine

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on September 8, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Friday that his country would apply for accelerated NATO membership . The move comes against the backdrop of Russia's annexation of four regions of Ukraine, which was endorsed by Vladimir Putin earlier today.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, meanwhile, sounded evasive and less eager than Mr. Zelensky about prompt Ukraine membership in the Atlantic Alliance.

“Every democracy in Europe has the right to apply for NATO membership and we have said again and again that the door remains open. »

— Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO

However, he recalled that any NATO membership must be unanimously approved by the 30 member countries of the alliance.

However, NATO refuses to participate directly in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin formalized the annexation of four Ukrainian territories, after the holding of referendums unanimously denounced by Ukraine and its allies. The Russian president welcomed these gains, and did not hesitate to threaten the West. Report by Lise Villeneuve, followed by an interview with our special correspondent in kyiv, Marie-Eve Bédard. Then, Azeb Wolde-Ghiorgis, in Washington, discusses the reaction of the United States to this event.

Mr. Stoltenberg nevertheless denounced the illegal and illegitimate annexation by Russia of four regions of eastern Ukraine: Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson.

Ukraine has the right to take back these now occupied territories by force and we will support it to continue to liberate these territories, Mr. Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels.

These regions are Ukraine, just like Crimea [annexed by Moscow in 2014] is Ukraine, underlined the Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance.

“The allies will never recognize these territories as part of Russia,”

— Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO

We are watching what Russia is doing closely, Stoltenberg said. He also warned Russia of serious consequences if it used nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Mr Stoltenberg, however, assured that the allies would protect their strategic infrastructure, in the wake of the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, in international waters off the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, which were hit by four explosions.

He warned that [NATO] ships and aircraft are in the area and are collecting useful information for the ongoing investigation to determine who is behind these attacks.

In a speech at the White House, United States President Joe Biden argued that America and its allies will not let bullied by Vladimir Putin, and said he was ready to defend every inch of NATO territory.

In addition to its application for NATO membership, Ukraine has also officially applied for membership of the European Union (EU). The 27 member states accepted Ukraine's candidacy on June 23.

But the accession process could take many years, like Turkey and the Balkan countries, due to the strict criteria regarding the rule of law of the economy of the candidate countries.

With information from Agence France-Presse, and Reuters

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