The White House stated Thursday that it’s retaining the door “open” to Ukraine joining NATO, in the newest escalation of tensions with Russia.
NATO members are dedicated to collective protection, which means the US could be obligated by treaty to battle Russia on Ukraine’s behalf.
“The Biden administration is committed to ensuring that NATO’s door remains open to aspirants when they are ready and able to meet the commitments and obligations of membership and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre advised reporters aboard Air Force One.
“The United States supports Ukraine’s effort to advance rule of law reforms and economic growth and its border — and its border fight against Russian aggression.”
A journalist pressed Jean-Pierre for clarification. “The door remaining open is not a ‘no’,” the reporter stated.
Jean-Pierre replied, “We support it.”
The journalist requested, “You support Ukraine joining NATO?”
“Yeah, yeah. Like i said, the Biden administration is committed to ensuring that NATO’s door remains open to aspirants when they are ready and able to meet the commitments. So they have to meet the commitments and the obligations of membership and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area,” she stated.
Russia in 2014 annexed Crimea, which is internationally acknowledged as a part of Ukraine. Russia is also accused of backing a pair of breakaway republics in japanese Ukraine.
In 2004, three international locations that previously belonged to the Soviet Union — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — joined NATO, poking the Kremlin in the attention. Although the alliance technically commits members to collective protection, the duty isn’t strictly utilized.
Ukraine is without doubt one of the poorest and most corrupt international locations in Europe and its politics have vacillated between pro-Russian and pro-Western factions because the Cold War. In 2014, pro-Western protesters chased out pro-Russian chief Viktor Yanukovych. His ouster sparked counter protests throughout Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking south and east. Russia annexed Crimea after a disputed referendum.
In 2018, Putin warned there could be “consequences” if NATO had been to combine Ukraine, calling the thought “aggressive” and “irresponsible,” and a direct menace to Russian nationwide safety.
“We will respond appropriately to such aggressive steps, which pose a direct threat to Russia,” Putin stated at the time, according to The Independent.
“Our colleagues, who are trying to aggravate the situation, seeking to include, among others, Ukraine and Georgia in the orbit of the alliance, should think about the possible consequences of such an irresponsible policy.”
Biden appeared to blink final month on a call to ship warships to the Black Sea over Russian aggression in Ukraine, following Russia warning the US to steer clear of the world “for their own good.” The Pentagon ordered a U-turn by two US destroyers.