Ukraine's Zelenskiy: NATO membership 'impossible' until Russia war ends

  • World
  • Friday, 02 Jun 2023

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg shake hands as they meet, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 20, 2023. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

KYIV (Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday he knew it would be "impossible" for Ukraine to join NATO while Russia was waging war on his country.

Zelenskiy has pressed for Ukrainian membership of the military alliance but allies are divided over how fast that should happen. Western governments are wary of any move that might take the alliance closer to war with Russia.

In a joint briefing in the Ukrainian capital with Estonian President Alar Karis, he said joining the alliance was still the best security guarantee for Kyiv.

"But we are adequate people and understand that we will not pull any NATO country into a war," Zelenskiy said. "And that's why we understand that we won't be a member of NATO while this war is ongoing. Not because we don't want to, because it's impossible."

(Reporting by Dan Peleschuk; editing by Tom Balmforth and Timothy Heritage)

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