Only 20 NATO members support Ukraine's accession to bloc
The Deputy Head of the Office of the Ukrainian President says Zelensky and Trudeau signed a joint declaration in Kiev.
Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Office of the Ukrainian President, said on Saturday that 20 NATO member countries have supported Ukraine's membership in the US-led military alliance, pending the approval, if any, of the remaining states.
Zhovkva confirmed on social media that on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Kiev, during which the two sides signed a joint declaration.
"The joint declaration clearly registers Canada's support for Ukraine to become a member of NATO as soon as conditions permit," the Ukrainian official indicated.
The deputy head of Zelensky’s office considered that these developments were "another stage of preparation for the successful NATO Summit in Vilnius in July" for Ukraine.
He continued, "This is the strongest wording among all the G7 countries that are members of NATO," adding that the total number of countries that supported Ukraine's accession to NATO had reached 20.
Zhovkva noted that Kiev signed a similar document with Romania during the European Political Community Summit in Moldova on June 1.
On its part, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that NATO will provide Ukraine with a road map to join the military alliance during the upcoming Vilnius summit held by the alliance, but the Eastern European country will only be eligible one to two years after the end of the war.
Earlier this week, US envoy to NATO Julianne Smith told Politico that "a proper invitation" to Ukraine into NATO is "unlikely" as long as the war in Ukraine is ongoing.
Nonetheless, Smith stated that the bloc still intended to convey a message to Kiev that it was committed to continuing to assist it in the long run, adding that NATO has an "array of options" to do so.
On Saturday, NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana revealed that there was currently no consensus within the alliance on Ukraine's entry into the bloc.
In September 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine was applying to be fast-tracked to join NATO.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has previously pointed out that Moscow was closely monitoring the situation, recalling that Kiev's orientation toward the alliance was one of the reasons for the start of the war in Ukraine last year.
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