Kyiv Security Forum

Russia Will Not Get a Veto on Ukraine's Accession to NATO, - Kurt Volker

22 May 2020, 15:55

Russia wants to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, using the occupation as a means to that end. "Russia wants to prevent countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova from joining the Alliance. And it has occupied territories in these countries," said Kurt Volker, American diplomat, former US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations during Kyiv Security Forum online discussion.

Volker underlined that NATO nations are reluctant to take on board as a member a country where Russia occupies part of the territory, because an Article 5 of the Alliance (which states that an attack on any NATO member would be considered an attack on the whole Alliance) could imply an immediate conflict with Russia to retake these territories by force.

The American diplomat stressed that we will not give Russia a veto over the NATO membership of countries and suggested not to apply Article 5 to the occupied territories immediately.

"There will be no first to use of force to retake them, we support only their peaceful reintegration into the territorial integrity of the aspiring nations of these territories and the restoration of the integrity of countries aspiring to join NATO. This should deprive Russia of incentives to continue the occupation of these territories," Kurt Volker emphasized.

"Any European nation that meets the standards of democracy, rule of law, contribution to common security, should indeed be considered for membership. We need to reenergize that process into the enlargement process, which has lost energy and commitment over years," he added.

Kyiv Security Forum is Ukraine’s foremost platform for high-level international discussion about peace and security. Kyiv Security Forum was founded in 2007.