Ukraine, Czech Republic sign joint declaration to speed up NATO access
After NATO's rebuff towards Ukraine which looks to ascend into the alliance, Prague and Kiev sign a joint declaration to facilitate the process.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, along with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, said they signed a joint declaration to speed up Ukraine's membership into NATO.
Earlier, Fiala and many members of the Czech cabinet arrived in Kiev for talks with the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal.
"Several important documents were signed today. I would like to especially note our joint declaration on NATO membership. This is the first such document that we adopt in order to accelerate our Euro-Atlantic integration. We have fixed with this declaration that we will strengthen cooperation in order to ensure NATO standards in Ukraine," Zelensky said after a meeting with Fiala.
Zelensky posted the video of the briefing on Telegram; he said Kiev will strive to sign such declarations with other countries as well.
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On September 30, NATO rebuffed Ukraine's request for ascension into the alliance as NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg expressed a non-committal stance on the bid, saying, "Our focus now is on providing immediate support to Ukraine to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian brutal invasion."
Last week, Stoltenberg expressed hope that NATO members would increase defense spending for 2023.
Earlier this month, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called on NATO member states to spend more than 2% of their GDP on defense budgets. The reason for this is that Austin believes countries will be better prepared to replenish stockpiles in light of the alliance members' support to Ukraine through the delivery of arms and weapons.