Ukraine cannot become a NATO member in times of active hostilities, but an inevitable path to membership must be created - Smiltens

  • 2023-07-10
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Ukraine cannot become a NATO member state at the moment, while active hostilities are taking place, but it is necessary to create a clear and inevitable path to membership NATO for Ukraine, stressed the Speaker of the Saeima Edvards Smiltens (United List, AS), who today met with the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk in Latvia.

According to the Latvian politician, a situation must not arise where Russia maintains hostilities for as long as possible in order to prevent Ukraine from becoming a NATO member.

In such circumstances, it is necessary to send a clear and unambiguous message to Russia at next week's NATO Summit that its aggression can never bear fruit - Ukraine will never lose our support and will inevitably become part of the Euro-Atlantic space, Smiltens said.

"Next week's NATO Summit in Vilnius will determine not only the security of our region, but also the future of Ukraine. Ukraine has already earned a place in the European Union and NATO. We, the Saeima and the government, will do our utmost to strengthen this support and help Ukraine move forward faster at every step," the Speaker of the Saeima was quoted as saying by LETA.

Unofficial information suggests that no announcement will be made at NATO's Vilnius Summit on inviting Ukraine to join the alliance, although there have been many public calls from politicians on this issue recently. NATO partners are still coordinating their vision on what position will be taken on Ukraine to ensure that it is strong enough to avoid being interpreted by Russia as a success.

"In the long term, we want to see Ukraine closely integrated into our region, the European Union and NATO," said a Latvian politician. "We will continue to provide Ukraine with all kinds of support - political and practical - to help Ukraine become a member of NATO and the EU as soon as possible".

Today, the two countries also discussed Latvia's support to Ukraine, which has reached 1.3 percent of Latvia's gross domestic product. "Latvia's support will remain unchanged. Until Ukraine's victory. For as long as it takes," the Speaker of the Saeima said.

The Saeima Speaker thanked Stefanchuk and the Ukrainian people for defending our common values - freedom, independence and democracy. "They do it with weapons in their hands, giving their lives and their loved ones. This is a great sacrifice for our common values," Smiltens said.

Stefanchuk thanked the people of Latvia for their strong support to Ukraine, including on the path to NATO accession, and for Latvia's practical assistance.