Zelenskyy discussed with Stoltenberg prospects for Ukraine’s membership in NATO

Ukrainian president stressed that cooperation with the alliance is extremely important for the country

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss Kiev’s cooperation with the alliance. Zelensky said this on Twitter on Thursday.

“Glad to hear from Jens Stoltenberg that NATO’s doors are open for Ukraine. Our immediate goal is the MAP (NATO Membership Action Plan)”, –  Zelenskyy wrote. – “We are serious about reforms because it is first of all about strengthening our defence sector”, –  he added.

In addition, the head of state stressed that cooperation with NATO is extremely important for Ukraine. “We are strengthening our army by joining the standards of the alliance, sharing practical experience, developing strategic partnership and friendship,” Zelensky said.

In February 2019, the Verkhovna Rada approved constitutional amendments enshrining the country’s aspirations for NATO with language on the “irreversibility of the Euro-Atlantic course”. Ensuring full compatibility of Ukraine’s armed forces with NATO armies by 2020 is enshrined in the military doctrine adopted in 2015. President-elect Volodymyr Zelenski, who was elected in April 2019, reiterated the unchanged nature of this course.

Kiev has previously stated that its short-term strategic outlook is to obtain an MAP, which is the first step in the country’s legal procedure to join the alliance. Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal said, regarding the NATO Membership Action Plan in particular, that the country was insisting “on a parallel course with Georgia, where the relevant work is also actively being done. According to him, now “there are three Eastern Partnership countries that are the most prepared in terms of MAP – Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine”. “We have a number of joint exercises with NATO planned for this year, which will give us an opportunity to demonstrate our level,” the prime minister stressed.

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