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Biden: ‘I’m not going to make it easier’ for Ukraine to join NATO

President Biden on Saturday said he won’t make it easier for Ukraine to join NATO, adding that the country at war with Russia has to meet the requirements to be a member.

“They got to meet the same standards. So, I’m not going to make it easier,” Biden told reporters. “I think they’ve done everything relating to demonstrating the ability to coordinate militarily, but there’s a whole issue of is their system secure?  Is it non-corrupt?  Does it meet all the standards…every other nation in NATO does.”

He expressed confidence that Ukraine will be able to join. The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are all members of NATO, as is Poland.

“I think they will. I think they can,” Biden said about Ukraine. “But it’s not automatic.”

His comments come after Biden has reportedly expressed that he is open to removing the Member Action Plan hurdle for Ukraine to join NATO, which requires countries that want to join the alliance make reforms militarily and democratically.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that a loss to Russia could ultimately force the U.S. to choose between the “collapse of NATO” or going to war.  

According to the treaty organization’s principle of collective defense, an attack on any member of NATO is “considered an attack against them all.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Biden at the White House earlier this week, during which they discussed the war in Ukraine and their shared view for Sweden to join the alliance as soon as possible.

The next NATO summit is on July 11 in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Source: The Hill

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