Ukraine cannot become NATO member until conflict ends: Stoltenberg

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said Ukraine cannot become a bloc member until the end of the conflict. He made the remark during a public lecture at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Ukrinform reported on Friday. Stoltenberg said, “The fact that the war is in an active stage does not allow us to invite them (Ukrainians) tomorrow or today.” At the same time, Stoltenberg suggested that Ukraine may become a NATO member after the cessation of the hostilities in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Xinhua news agency reported.

“These are interrelated issues — NATO membership, ending the war and ensuring lasting peace after the war,” he said. Providing Ukraine with Western-style weapons and training of Ukrainian servicemen is bringing Ukraine closer to NATO membership, he added. NATO recognised Ukraine as its Enhanced Opportunities Partner in 2020.