According to CNN, President Joe Biden stated that Ukraine is not currently prepared to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He emphasized that Russia’s war in Ukraine must end before NATO can consider including Kyiv in its ranks.
In an interview with Fareed Zakaria of CNN before his trip to Europe, President Biden described it as “premature” to initiate the process of allowing Ukraine to join NATO amidst an ongoing conflict. He emphasized that this process could only occur after establishing a peace agreement with Russia. President Biden assured that the United States and its NATO allies would continue to support President Volodymyr Zelensky and provide the necessary security and weaponry to help end the war with Russia.
Biden expressed that there is no consensus within NATO regarding Ukraine’s immediate accession to the alliance, given the ongoing conflict. He stated that committing to bring Ukraine into NATO would entail a commitment to defend all NATO territory, even in war with Russia.
The President revealed that he has extensively discussed the matter with President Zelensky. He conveyed to the Ukrainian President that the United States would continue to provide security and weaponry, similar to its support for Israel, while the process unfolded.
President Biden stressed the importance of establishing a logical pathway for Ukraine to meet the necessary criteria for NATO membership. He mentioned that he had rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pre-war demands for a commitment not to admit Ukraine, as NATO follows an open-door policy. However, Biden deemed it premature to call for a vote, as other qualifications, including democratization and related issues, still need to be addressed.
In addition, the Biden administration recently announced that the United States would provide cluster munitions to Ukraine for the first time. This action aims to bolster Ukraine’s ammunition supply as it mounts a counteroffensive against Russia. President Biden acknowledged that providing this controversial ammunition was difficult but necessary due to Ukraine’s depleting ammunition reserves.
The NATO meeting also coincides with Sweden’s interest in joining the alliance, although this move has faced opposition from Turkey and Hungary. President Biden expressed optimism about Sweden’s eventual admission to NATO, citing Turkey’s interest in modernizing its F-16 fleet and Greece’s vote to admit Sweden. He mentioned the possibility of forming a consortium to strengthen NATO’s military capabilities for both Greece and Turkey while facilitating Sweden’s inclusion, although the matter is still under discussion.
Regarding China, President Biden expressed confidence that China aspires to surpass the United States in terms of the world’s largest economy and military capacity. However, he believes a productive relationship between the US and China can be established that benefits both nations. Biden mentioned a conversation with the Chinese leader about the economic consequences of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, cautioning China to be mindful of the potential impact on its economy.
President Biden also mentioned that Israel’s President Isaac Herzog would visit the White House soon. He reiterated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He criticized some members of former Prime Minister Netanyahu’s cabinet for their views on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Biden emphasized the importance of dialogue and moderation in addressing the ongoing issues in the region.