A senior US government official noted that President Joe Biden has made no assurances or private commitments to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about Ukraine’s NATO membership that he has not disclosed publicly.
There is no change in the US position on NATO membership: the commitment to an open-door policy for the alliance remains.
Still, as Biden put it more clearly last month, there is no expectation that Ukraine could join NATO any time soon.
“The likelihood of Ukraine joining NATO anytime soon is not very likely, because of the additional work they have to do in terms of democracy and some other things that happen there. And if the main allies in the West would vote to include Ukraine right now,” Biden explained.
Hours earlier Monday, at a Russian Security Council meeting, Putin hinted that Biden had assured him that Ukraine would not be admitted to NATO soon and that its potential membership could be subject to a moratorium.
“The American colleague assured me that Ukraine will not be admitted [into NATO] tomorrow,” Putin said. “Also, some kind of moratorium is possible.”
“My answer is simple: we believe that this is not a concession for us, it is simply the implementation of their plans,” Putin added.
Before leaving the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters: “NATO is a membership: it’s about nations coming together as a group, making decisions collectively, around principles and what will then be the conditions and standards. of membership. And that’s the process. It doesn’t happen overnight.”
“No country can say I want to be, therefore I will be. And no country can say you can’t be. Isn’t that the core of the problem before us in terms of Russia’s aggression or open aggression towards Ukraine? he continued.