US officials revealed that US President Joe Biden is open to canceling the NATO action plan mechanism for Ukraine’s membership, which considered one of the obstacles to its accession to NATO.
These sources say that Biden would welcome the withdrawal of the Membership Action Plan for Ukraine, to facilitate its possible entry, since in this case Kiev won’t receive a time frame for joining NATO or an official invitation from it, according to Politico newspaper.
The cancellation of the action plan is supposed to be announced at the “Vilnius” (Lithuania’s capital) summit scheduled for July, and it is noteworthy that Biden discussed canceling the action plan for Ukraine in a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington, and showed that he’s open to this if the members of the alliance support the idea, and experts believe that canceling the mechanism will not speed up Ukraine’s accession to NATO, but will only give it a signal that it is approaching membership.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said in early June that Kiev believed Ukraine should join NATO without a membership action plan.
In August, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stefanyshina, said that the NATO Membership Action Plan was no longer sufficient for Ukraine, and Kiev would only accept membership in the alliance.
At the end of September 2022, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky announced that his country is urgently applying to join NATO, and Jake Sullivan, Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security, noted that the implementation of such a measure was too late.
Ukraine won’t be satisfied with any other decision of the NATO summit in Vilnius, except for an invitation to join the alliance.
The press secretary of the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov, said that the Kremlin heard of Zelensky’s request for Ukraine’s accession to NATO, as well as the different reactions towards it.
Moscow is closely monitoring the situation and remembers that Kiev’s orientation towards the alliance is what became one of the reasons for the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine.