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IPFS News Link • NATO

Blinken Vows 'Ukraine Will Become a Member of NATO'

•, by Dave DeCamp

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday vowed that Ukraine will eventually join NATO, repeating a provocative promise that the alliance first made at a summit in Bucharest in 2008.

"Ukraine will become a member of NATO," Blinken said in Brussels alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. NATO foreign ministers met in the Belgium capital to prepare for a NATO summit that will be held in Washington this July.

"Our purpose of the summit is to help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward. We've done a lot of work on that over the last couple of days here in Brussels, a lot more work to be done between now and the summit, but we will see, I think, at the summit very strong support for Ukraine going forward and its relationship with NATO," Blinken said.

Leading up to its invasion of Ukraine, Russia was seeking a guarantee from the US that Ukraine wouldn't ever join the alliance, but the Biden administration refused and never seriously engaged on the issue. Since the invasion was launched, NATO has doubled down on its promise to admit Ukraine eventually, but no clear timeline or assurances have been given since bringing Kyiv in now would put the alliance in a direct war with Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was fuming last year after not receiving any sort of timeline on memberships at the NATO summit in Vilnius. NATO released a vague statement at the summit that it would only be in a "position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when allies agree and conditions are met."

While not giving Ukraine a clear path, the US and NATO are still dangling the potential membership over Russia's head, likely as a way to ensure the proxy war continues.