Home / News / World /  ‘All 30 allies have to agree’: NATO chief on Ukraine's membership application

Amidst Ukraine's counter-offensive operation to push back Russian forces to reclaim the parts of land that President Vladimir Putin had declared as annexed territory of Russia, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Ukraine can become a part of NATO only when all allies agree.

When asked about Ukraine's application for accelerated membership in the Western defence alliance Stoltenberg said in an interview with NBC's 'Meet the Press.', "any decision on membership has to be taken by consensus all 30 allies have to agree to make such a decision."

Speaking about Ukrainians making progress in war and being able to push back against Russian forces, he said, "We have seen that they have been able to take a new town, Lyman, and that demonstrates that the Ukrainians are making progress, are able to push back the Russian forces because of the courage, because of their bravery, their skills, but of course also because of the advanced weapons that the United States and other allies are providing," 

The best response to Russia's alleged annexation of a portion of Ukraine is to continue backing the Kyiv government, Stoltenberg stated.

NATO supports the investigation into the apparent sabotage of Russia's Nord Stream pipelines that run from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, the NATO chief said.

"Any deliberate attack on critical NATO infrastructure will be met with a firm and united response from an angle," Stoltenberg added.

Germany, Denmark and Norway will supply Ukraine with 16 armoured howitzer artillery systems from next year, Berlin said Sunday, as Kyiv seeks heavier weapons to boost its fightback against Russia.

The announcement came after German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht visited Ukraine this weekend for the first time since Moscow's invasion in February.

Support without membership

Ukraine's 92 million euro ($90.2 million) purchase of the Slovakian Zuzana-2 guns will be financed jointly by Germany, Denmark, and Norway, according to the Berlin-based defence ministry.

They will be produced in Slovakia, with delivery to Ukraine to begin in 2023.

The new pledge is still below what Ukraine has requested. Ukraine has repeatedly asked Germany for Leopard battle tanks, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz's administration has refused.

Scholz has said he does not want to go it alone on arms supplies and will only take decisions in consultation with his Western allies.

(With inputs from agencies)

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