KIEV, 10 Sep-RIA Novosti. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that Kiev has not received a direct position from Washington on the country's accession to NATO, but Ukraine can rely on the United States.
At the same time, Zelensky expressed the opinion that Russia will grow stronger if Ukraine is not accepted into NATO.
"I believe that if you want Russia to become stronger, do not take Ukraine (to NATO-ed.). This is not even about a counterweight to Russia. This is an expression, it is so. We see who is powerful, " he added.
Earlier, Zelensky, following a visit to Washington, said that US President Joe Biden, with whom he met on September 1, supports Ukraine's accession to NATO. After that, a joint statement was issued by Washington and Kiev, which includes five areas of cooperation: in the fields of security and defense; democracy, justice and human rights; energy security and climate; economic development and prosperity; countering the pandemic and humanitarian assistance.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in December 2014 amended two laws, abandoning the non-aligned status of the state. In June 2016, additional amendments were adopted that define the country's foreign policy goal of joining NATO. In February 2019, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted amendments to the constitution, fixing the country's course in the EU and NATO. Ukraine has become the sixth state to receive the status of a NATO partner with expanded capabilities.
Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said earlier that in order to join the alliance, Ukraine will need to achieve a number of criteria, the implementation of which will take a lot of time. Experts believe that Kiev will not be able to apply for membership in NATO in the next 20 years.