The leaders of nine NATO countries from Central and Eastern Europe on Sunday issued a joint statement supporting Ukraine’s path to membership of the alliance.
“We firmly support the decision of the 2008 Bucharest NATO summit on Ukraine’s future membership,” said the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, North Macedonia and Slovakia on Sunday.
At that 2008 summit, NATO allies said they “welcomed” Ukraine’s and Georgia’s aspirations to join the alliance, although a clear timeline was never announced.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted Sunday that 10 NATO countries support Ukraine’s bid, including some nations that were formerly part of the Soviet Union.
“We are grateful for the leadership and responsibility,” Podolyak tweeted. “Today history is being made.”
In this photo provided by the Press Office of the President of Ukraine, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with military officials as he visits the war-torn Mykolaiv region. (Press Office of the President of Ukraine via AP)
Zelenskyy said on Friday that Kyiv had “accelerated” its application for NATO membership after Russia annexed four Ukrainian territories.
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN ANNOUNCES ATTACHMENT OF 4 UKRAINIAN TERRITORIES AFTER ‘BOG’ REFERENCES
“In fact, we have already demonstrated compatibility with alliance standards. They are real to Ukraine – real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction,” Zelenskyy said. “We trust each other, we help each other and we protect each other. This is the Alliance.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declined to comment on Ukraine’s path to membership, telling NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that any decision “must be made by consensus,” but that supporting Ukraine would the alliance’s “top priority”.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Friday that the United States supports NATO’s open-door policy for countries wanting to join.
“Right now we believe that the best way for us to support Ukraine is through practical support on the ground in Ukraine and that the process in Brussels should start at another time,” Sullivan said during a press conference .
Paul Best is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @KincaidBest.