President Joe Biden has announced that the U.S. does not support a fast-tracked process for Ukraine to join NATO at the end of the war, stating that Ukraine would need to meet certain criteria for NATO membership, including addressing concerns about corruption in the country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on NATO member nations to commit to accepting Ukraine into the alliance when there is a resolution to the current conflict. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has stated that Ukraine must first win the war against Russia before any membership issue can be discussed. He added that he expects NATO nations to make "new decisions on concrete support" for Ukraine at an upcoming summit in Lithuania.
In an interview with NBC News, Zelenskyy issued a warning to American politicians and 2024 presidential candidates who have expressed skepticism about supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia. He stated that if Ukraine lost and Russia occupied Ukraine, Russia would continue going towards Baltic countries, Poland, etcetera. They would start war with one of the NATO countries and at this moment the United States would have to choose the collapse of NATO or go to war.
Following a meeting of NATO Ministers of Defense in Brussels, Stoltenberg announced that the allies are working to establish a "new NATO-Ukraine Council," where Ukraine will be given equal standing with NATO countries. However, the formation of a new council falls short of the commitments sought by Zelenskyy from NATO leaders ahead of the military alliance's summit in Lithuania next month.
Biden has acknowledged that Ukraine has demonstrated its ability to coordinate with NATO nations militarily, but there are other issues the country would need to address to be accepted into the alliance.