Kuleba: Ukraine would like to hear honest answer to question about when it can become NATO member
Ukraine has done enough to deserve the next step towards Euro-Atlantic integration and would like to hear an honest answer to a question of when it can become a NATO member, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
"Russia is 'an elephant in the room.' On the one hand, we hear statements that Russia has no say in relations between Ukraine and NATO, but at the same time we hear behind closed doors and with the microphones turned off, that this is not the best time for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration, since 'we must take Russia into account.' This is how politics works, and we understand it. Our position is simple: we are all realists, and if Russia is the reason, do not tell us that it is because of the lack of reforms," Kuleba said during an interview at the Eastern Europe Studies Centre in Vilnius on Thursday.
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister pointed out that Ukraine has implemented many reforms in the defense and security sectors, and is also committed to do more reforms and fully comply with NATO standards and ensure interoperability, as well as increase trust between allies and Ukraine.
"We are ready to continue and we will continue, not only because of NATO, but also because of our personal security interests. But we want an honest answer in return – an answer to the question 'When?' We understand that NATO membership is not a date on the calendar that can be highlighted in red. But we have done enough to deserve the next step towards our Euro-Atlantic integration," he said.