KIEV, September 10. /TASS/. Ukraine is ready to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, in particular, because of the level of development of its army and specialists, and NATO needs it. This opinion was expressed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during a forum dubbed YES Brainstorming on Friday.
"We are ready for NATO based on the levels of our army, and our specialists," the head of state asserted.
He also added that both NATO and the EU needed Ukraine. "We are not begging, we are saying that it seems to us that NATO needs us, it seems to us that there won’t be a strong European Union without Ukraine. <...> I think that without Ukraine, NATO will be lacking, I think that without Ukraine, the EU will weaken little by little," he predicted.
He emphasized that he was not convinced by the assertions that Ukraine cannot join NATO due to the fact that its defense sector needs reforms. "Today, our army is one of the most powerful armies worldwide. So, when they tell us about defense reforms or army reforms and that because of this Ukraine hasn’t joined NATO - it seems to me that this is, let’s say, not an entirely sincere opinion," the Ukrainian leader noted.
At the April 2008 Bucharest summit, the alliance approved a political statement that Ukraine and Georgia would become NATO members with time, but refused to present the Membership Action Plan (MAP) to either country, given that this is a first step in the legal procedure on joining the organization. In February 2019, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada approved constitutional amendments enshrining Kiev’s aspiration to join NATO. Ukraine also received the status of NATO’s enhanced opportunity partner.