(CNN Spanish) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that his country is applying “under an accelerated procedure” to become a NATO member. He added that he understood that accession would require the consensus of NATO members. The alliance chief said that members support Ukraine’s right to “choose its own path.”
Zelensky signed Ukraine’s request together with Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk and Prime Minister Denys Shmygal.
“It is here, in Ukraine, that the values of our Euro-Atlantic community have gained true vital energy,” Zelensky said in a pre-recorded video message. “The strength of the nation that fights for freedom, and the strength of the nations that help in this fight.”
He also said that “de facto”, Ukraine had already “completed its path” to NATO.
“Today, Ukraine is requesting that it be by right. Under a procedure according to our importance for the protection of our entire community. Under an accelerated procedure,” she added.
Zelensky said he understood that accession would require the consensus of NATO members.
“And therefore, while this is happening, we offer to implement our proposals regarding security guarantees for Ukraine and the whole of Europe in accordance with the Kyiv Security Pact, which was developed and presented to our partners.”
What NATO says
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that Alliance member states support Ukraine’s “right to choose its own path” after Zelensky announced that the country is applying to become a member under an accelerated procedure.
However, Stoltenberg cautioned that any decision on membership must be made by the Alliance’s 30 members.
“NATO allies, when they met at the NATO Summit in Madrid, also stated very clearly that we support Ukraine’s right to choose its own path, to decide what kind of security arrangements it wants to be a part of,” he said. Stoltenberg at a press conference.
“The decision on membership, of course, must be made by the 30 Allies and we make these decisions by consensus,” he said.
“Our focus now is to provide immediate support to Ukraine, to help Ukraine defend itself from the brutal Russian invasion and that is the main focus and the main effort of the NATO allies right now,” Stoltenberg continued.
“Every democracy in Europe has the right to apply for NATO membership and NATO allies respect that right and we have stated time and time again that the door to NATO remains open. And we have shown it in the last [pocos] years,” he also said.
NATO Chief: Russia’s Illegal Annexation Is ‘Most Serious Escalation’ Of War
Russia’s mobilization to increase its troops to Ukraine, as well as the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, represents an escalation of the Kremlin war, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
These actions constitute “the most serious escalation of the conflict since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February,” Stoltenberg said on Friday.
“Putin mobilized hundreds of thousands more troops, engaged in irresponsible nuclear saber rattling and now illegally annexed more Ukrainian territory. Taken together, this represents the most serious escalation since the start of the war,” the NATO chief said. at a press conference.
“None of this shows strength. It shows weakness,” she said.
“It is an admission that the war has not gone according to plan and that Putin has completely failed in his strategic goals,” he added.
“Putin bears full responsibility for this war. And it is his responsibility to finish it, ”he completed.
With information from Arnaud Siad, Sharon Braithwaite, Mick Krever, Victoria Butenko, Olga Voitovych of CNN