US warns Ukraine it must defeat Russia to join NATO
US warns Ukraine it must defeat Russia to join NATO

Washington is doing everything to help Kiev, the national security spokesman has argued

In order to become a NATO member, Ukraine has to “win the war” with Russia first, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told journalists at a press briefing on Monday.

US President Joe Biden believes NATO is in Ukraine’s future, but there’s “a lot of things that have to be done” before it can join, Kirby said. When a journalist asked him to elaborate on the “vague conditions” and “unclear pathway” Kiev had been given, the official claimed that Washington’s position was “absolutely clear.”

“First they’ve got to win this war,” Kirby said.

“They gotta win the war first. So, number one: We’re doing everything we can to make sure they can do that. Then when the war’s over no matter what it looks like they’re still going to have a long border with Russia and a legitimate security threat,” he said. Washington will assist in building up Ukraine’s military industrial base, although “corruption is still a major concern,” Kirby added.

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Russia’s next peace offer could come with ‘tougher terms’ for Kiev – intel chief

Moscow has repeatedly stated that it sees the expansion of NATO towards Russian borders as an existential threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has named Kiev’s aim to join the US-led military bloc as one of the key causes of the ongoing conflict.

Last Friday, the Russian leader named Moscow’s conditions for a ceasefire and the beginning of peace negotiations. The talks could start as soon as Kiev withdraws its troops from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, and cedes its claims to all five former Ukrainian territories that chose to join Russia, including Crimea, Putin signaled. Moscow will not accept a frozen conflict, which would allow the US and its allies to rearm and rebuild the Ukrainian military, Putin claimed, adding that Kiev must formally abandon any plans to join NATO.

The delivery of Western armaments to aid Kiev’s war efforts makes the countries providing it a party to the conflict, Moscow has insisted. Further NATO involvement in the conflict risks a direct clash between Moscow and the US-led military bloc, and threatens to expand into a nuclear conflict, the Kremlin has stressed.

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