KIEV, October 13. /TASS/. The long-standing cooperation between Ukraine and NATO makes it possible to say that the country has de facto become a member of the North Atlantic alliance, Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov said on Thursday.
"I am grateful to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for his support of Ukraine. We have covered a long way and have de facto joined the alliance," he wrote on his Twitter.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky earlier stated the need to recognize that Ukraine would not become a NATO member. However, in late September, he signed a bid for Ukraine’s accelerated accession to NATO.
NATO Chief Stoltenberg declined to answer a direct question from journalists about whether the alliance was ready to examine this bid. EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said on October 6 that Kiev could not join NATO amid hostilities on Ukrainian territory.