Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country “must admit” that the door may be shut to Ukraine joining NATO, Business Insider reported.
“It is clear that Ukraine is not a member of NATO, we understand that, we are adequate people,” Zelenskyy said at a meeting with leaders of the Joint Expeditionary Force on Tuesday, Business Insider reported.
“For years we have heard about the supposedly open door, but we have also heard [lately] that we should not enter, and this is true and we must admit it,” Zelenskyy said, referring to Ukraine’s attempts to join the alliance, according to Business Insider. “I am glad that our people are beginning to understand this and rely on themselves and our partners who help us.”
NATO promised Ukraine it would be admitted as a member in 2008, an offer which Russia demanded the alliance rescind before it invaded Ukraine in February. Russia has stated that one of its conditions for ending the invasion is for Ukraine to alter its constitution to enshrine its neutrality from Western pacts and NATO.
🇺🇦 President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that Ukraine should accept that it might not join NATO, in a softening of his previous demands to join the alliance.
— euronews (@euronews) March 15, 2022
Zelenskyy noted it was important for NATO allies to guarantee security to keep Ukraine safe amid Russia’s invasion, Business Insider reported.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine destroyed everything that security in our region — and I am sure international security — was based on,” he said, according to Business Insider. “The weight of the organizations we all hoped for. The force of international conventions. It has also called into question the world’s most powerful alliance, NATO.”
“I ask you: help yourself by helping us,” he said. “You know what weapons we need. You know what means of protection we need. You know we crucially need airplanes. It would be extremely difficult for us without your efforts. I am grateful to you. But understand – we need more.”