Spanish FM says NATO never considered Ukraine's accession
The Spanish Foreign Minister reveals that Ukraine's possible NATO accession was never discussed in the bloc's hallways.
The issue of Ukraine's possible NATO accession has never been discussed and is not being raised at the moment, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares revealed on Sunday.
"It [Ukraine's possible NATO accession] was never discussed … We have never talked about it and we do not do it now," Albares told Spanish newspaper El Pais.
The Foreign Minister confirmed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will participate in the NATO summit that is set to be held in Madrid from June 28-30 via video link.
The Madrid summit's agenda is expected to include the adoption of a new strategic concept outlining NATO's policies and priorities for the next decade, a new deployment of forces in Europe, and an aid package for Ukraine.
Last week, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the participating leaders would announce that Russia is no longer a partner country in the alliance.
NATO members declined Kiev's aspirations
Earlier, Ihor Zhovkva, the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, told the Financial Times that Ukraine is not planning to do anything in terms of its NATO membership in the near future.
"Nato members have declined our aspirations. We will not do anything else in this regard," Zhovkva said.
It is noteworthy that Kiev has been voicing its desire to join NATO for months now, and these calls for accession raised security concerns in Russia and prompted Moscow to launch its special military operation in Ukraine.
The operation came with several objectives, such as curbing the spread of neo-Nazism within Ukraine, protecting the people of the Donbass republics from Ukrainian aggression, and preventing Kiev's accession to NATO.
Ukraine, however, has been backtracking on its calls for accession, with Zelensky saying in March that he did not want to be the president of a "country which is begging something on its knees."
Russia sees NATO expansion as a threat, especially since over the years, the Cold War-era alliance expanded eastward, jeopardizing Russian interests.