Ukraine Will Join NATO; It’s Not Question of If, But When—Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy

The Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, has declared that Ukraine will be welcomed into the organization to bolster its defense against Russia’s unprovoked aggression.

The Secretary said this in a video address on the occasion of the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its third year on February 25, 2025.

Stoltenberg said, “Today, we mark two years since Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine. Starting the biggest war in Europe since World War Two. The situation on the battlefield remains extremely serious. President Putin’s aim to dominate Ukraine has not changed. And there are no indications that he is preparing for peace. But we must not lose heart. Ukraine has demonstrated remarkable skill and fierce determination again and again,” the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General said.

He remembered that Ukraine defied expectations of collapse within weeks. Instead, it managed to reclaim half of the territory seized by Russia post-invasion, drive Russian forces back from significant portions of the Black Sea, and deal heavy blows to the Russian military.

“Above all, Ukraine retains its freedom and independence. This has been made possible by your courage and resolve. Enabled by major military and economic support from NATO Allies.

In the past few days and weeks, NATO allies have announced new packages of aid worth billions of dollars.

These cover key capabilities like artillery ammunition, air defense, and combat boats. As well as F-16 equipment and spare parts, drones, and demining equipment. More support is on the way,” Stoltenberg noted.

The Secretary General observed that Putin initiated the war to block North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s expansion and prevent Ukraine from determining its own direction.

However, the outcome has been quite the contrary: Ukraine is now more closely aligned with NATO than at any previous point, he remarked.

Stoltenberg emphasized that North Atlantic Treaty Organization is aiding Ukraine’s armed forces in enhancing interoperability with Allies.

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The collaborative efforts include the establishment of a new Joint Analysis, Training, and Education Center in Poland, aiming to foster closer ties between Ukraine andNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Moreover, both parties are strengthening their political relations through the NATO-Ukraine Council, facilitating joint consultations and decision-making processes.

“Ukraine will join NATO. It is not a question of if, but of when. As we prepare you for that day, NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine. For your security, and for ours,” Stoltenberg emphasized.

Simultaneously, a video was released on X by NATO’s press service depicting Ukrainian military personnel, trained abroad, proudly reciting the lines of the Ukrainian National Anthem.

Since February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation initiated a full-scale, unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine. Since the onset of hostilities, NATO and its member states have extended political and tangible support to Ukraine, furnishing military equipment, advanced weaponry, and ammunition.

Moreover, NATO remains committed to training Ukrainian soldiers who valiantly defend their homeland against Russian aggression.

This implies that Ukraine will join NATO, as North Atlantic Treaty Organization upholds each nation’s right to determine its own security arrangements, including Ukraine.

The alliance maintains an open door policy, with NATO members deciding on new memberships, and Russia lacking veto power.

At the Vilnius Summit, Allies reaffirmed their commitment, made initially at the 2008 Summit in Bucharest, that Ukraine will join the Alliance once certain conditions are met and all Allies agree.

They decided to streamline Ukraine’s path to membership, eliminating the requirement for a two-step process.

NATO is enhancing its cooperation with Ukraine both politically and practically.

President Zelenskyy participated in the inaugural meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council at the Vilnius Summit, which serves as a platform for equal crisis consultation and decision-making.

Furthermore, North Atlantic Treaty Organization has approved a new multi-year assistance program aimed at helping the Ukrainian armed forces transition to North Atlantic Treaty Organization standards and bolstering Ukraine’s security and defense sector to resist further Russian aggression.

Ukraine’s alignment with NATO is closer than ever before, and at the Vilnius Summit, Allied leaders reiterated that Ukraine’s future lies within NATO.