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US wants allies to stop talking to Kiev about joining NATO — Ukrainian lawmaker

According to his claims, Washington "has sent a clear message" that Ukraine will not join the alliance as soon as military activities are over

MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Ukraine should accept the fact that it will not become a NATO member in 2024, Verkhovna Rada (parliament) member Alexey Goncharenko (designated as terrorist and extremist in Russia) said.

"Several sources in Washington have confirmed to me that [US Secretary of State Antony] Blinken told the Europeans to stop the NATO conversation with Ukraine. There will be no NATO membership. The NATO issue irritates US elites," the lawmaker wrote on Telegram.

Goncharenko claims that Washington "has sent a clear message" that Ukraine will not join the alliance as soon as military activities are over. "There will be some movement towards membership; we are receiving some leeway. However, we won’t be granted membership in 2024. The [Ukrainian] presidential office has accepted this fact," the lawmaker noted, adding that Kiev should focus on joining the European Union.

Ukraine announced a fast-track NATO membership bid in September 2022, and was assured at a NATO summit in Vilnius in 2023 that it would be accepted into the bloc once it met all the required conditions. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on November 28 that Ukraine would be accepted into the North Atlantic Alliance in due time; however, he did not specify when this might happen. Blinken, in turn, said at a press conference in Brussels following a NATO foreign ministers meeting that Ukraine would join NATO once there was a consensus among all member states and all conditions were met.

Kiev has repeatedly declared its desire to become a full NATO member as soon as possible; the country’s armed forces are shifting to NATO standards and there are plans to mandate the military’s officer corps to be fluent in English.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has repeatedly stressed that Moscow’s stance on Ukraine’s NATO membership has not changed since 2008, when the alliance initially promised to accept Kiev into its ranks at a summit in Bucharest. Moscow views this as a threat to national security, saying that one of the goals of its special military operation is to make sure that Ukraine remains neutral.