Kiev dropped its pursuit of non-bloc status after the US and EU-backed Maidan coup d’etat in February 2014, and has since expressed its intention to join the Western alliance. Under NATO’s rules, countries with territorial disputes with neighbours, and those suffering from civil war, are not eligible to join until these problems are resolved.
The United States supports Ukraine’s ambition to join NATO, White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has announced.
“Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken is in Kiev right now to affirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. His trip also emphasises the importance of Ukraine passing key legislation to advance rule of law, anti-corruption and economic reforms that will strengthen Ukraine’s democracy and economy, and further Euro-Atlantic integration,” Jean-Pierre said.
The spokeswoman added that Washington “supports” Ukraine’s reforms “and its border fight against Russia aggression.”
Jean-Pierre’s comments come a week after President Joe Biden told Congress that the US was not seeking an escalation in tensions with Russia, which has repeatedly expressed its concerns about the NATO buildup on its western borders.
Last Friday, acting US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs Philip Reeker told reporters that Washington was “committed certainly to ensuring that a country like Ukraine can work to meet” NATO’s standards for aspirants.
In mid-April, Ukraine’s…