VILNIUS – Ukraine has applied for NATO membership and firmly pursues this goal whereas the Alliance will find soon that Ukrainian forces would strengthen the organization, General Volodymyr Tymoshenko of the Security Service of Ukraine has said.
“If you asked whether it is worthwhile or not for Ukraine to join NATO, I would explicitly say, yes. Membership is a necessity when you have such a neighbor nearby. And I think it’s not just Ukraine that seeks to join NATO as the Alliance will find soon that Ukraine would strengthen NATO,” he told reporters in Vilnius on Friday.
The general and the head of the Eurasian Drug Policy Institute noted that Ukraine had eight years’ experience of the war with Russia and stressed that the country’s society fully trusted its armed forces.
“Our armed forces have eight years of war experience and an exceptional makeup ... The Ukrainian army enjoys 100-percent support from the public. It’s not the parliament or the government. Those are people who are truly national heroes today,” Tymoshenko said.
He stressed that Ukraine, which had submitted an application for accession to NATO under an accelerated procedure, firmly pursued this goal, and added: “I think we will be there [in the Alliance as a member].”
The general, who attended an international event dedicated to drug policy, also spoke about the particular situation of Lithuania and other neighboring countries, hailing the Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine as one of the most powerful unions.
“At sea, we are strongly supported by the United States and Great Britain …, but Lithuania, Poland, the Baltic countries, we are all in the same boat and we all understand that the threat is the same, that it hangs as one cloud above us. If Ukraine were to lose, there is probably no point in talking about the fate prepared for other countries, our neighbors, friendly countries because that beast will not stop,” Tymoshenko stressed.
Ukraine submitted an “accelerated” application to join the NATO military alliance in late September, after Russian leader Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of four partially occupied Ukrainian regions.