Ukraine joining NATO not "on the agenda": NATO chief
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary-general, offers a clear concession.
NATO's secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine's joining of NATO is irrelevant and not "on the agenda for the near future," he said on Friday. Stoltenberg addressed the issue in a panel discussion named 'The price of peace or the cost of war?' in Turkey.
“It is for Ukraine to decide whether they want to aspire for membership. And then it’s of course for 30 NATO allies to decide whether Ukraine is ready for membership,” Stoltenberg said.
“It has been clear for a long time that membership, for Ukraine, was not something that was imminent, nor something which is relevant in the near future. But, again, this is the principle of respecting every nation’s right to choose their own path.”
Read more: Stoltenberg: Ukraine must not turn into a NATO war with Russia
Furthermore, the NATO secretary general stressed that Russia should not have any say in NATO's future expansion, adding that he does not want to “live in a world where big powers force small countries to do what they don’t want to do.”
Through a recently revealed classified document, Boston University professor Joshua Shifrinson divulged that foreign ministry envoys from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany met on March 6, 1991, in Bonne, France.
The meeting focused on various issues regarding Polish and Eastern European security, agreeing that NATO expanding eastward was "unacceptable", making it clear that the alliance would not expand beyond the Elbe river, the document quoted the German envoy as saying.
Despite breaking such a promise, several states joined NATO over the years - the most recent to fantasize about joining is Ukraine, which poses a security threat to Moscow.
Recently, Swedish PM Magdalena Andersson rejected opposition calls to consider joining NATO in the aftermath of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, saying that doing so now would destabilize European security.
Borrell: Promising NATO membership to Ukraine was mistake
The EU foreign policy leader Josep Borrell admitted that the West has made a number of blunders in its relations with Russia, including promising Ukraine membership in NATO.
"I am ready to admit that we have made a number of mistakes and that we have lost the opportunity of Russia's rapprochement with the West … There are moments that we could have done better, there are things that we proposed and then could not implement, such as the promise that Ukraine and Georgia would become part of NATO… I think it's a mistake to make promises you can't deliver," Borrell told the TF1 broadcaster.
Ukraine has recently said it is not interested in NATO membership anymore: While one of the reasons why Moscow launched its military operation against Ukraine is because of Ukraine's constant threat of joining NATO, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he will no longer be pressing for NATO membership for Ukraine.
This could come as a result of the ongoing negotiations between Kiev and Moscow, where Ukraine is demanded to compromise and adhere to Russian demands in an already-losing war.