VOLODYMYR Zelensky today slammed the “absurd” dithering over Ukraine joining Nato and accused Western leaders of freezing him out of talks.
The wartime President rocked the first day of the alliance’s annual summit with furious claims that there was “no readiness” for his country to become a member.
GettyPresident Zelensky has lashed out at the ‘absurd’ delay to Ukraine joining Nato[/caption]
Rishi Sunak today insisted he wanted to see “demonstrable progress” on a pathway for Ukraine to join the security pact.
But other premiers including Joe Biden have appeared more hesitant and hinted Ukrainian membership would be far into the future.
Western leaders are expected to talk about membership progression – agreed in principle in 2008 – during the gathering in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.
President Zelensky is jetting in for the meet but ahead of his arrival tweeted a blistering attack saying Ukraine “deserves respect”.
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He said he had “received signals” that wording about accession was being discussed “without Ukraine”.
Taking aim at the delays, he said: “I would like to emphasise that this wording is about the invitation to become a NATO member, not about Ukraine’s membership.
“It’s unprecedented and absurd when the time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership.
“While at the same time vague wording about ‘conditions’ is added even for inviting Ukraine.
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“It seems there is no readiness neither to invite Ukraine to NATO nor to make it a member of the Alliance.”
He said the lack of progress meant Ukraine’s Nato membership would be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Russia.
President Zelensky added: “And for Russia, this means motivation to continue its terror. Uncertainty is weakness. And I will openly discuss this at the summit.”
Mr Sunak said Britain will stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes” and that there is “no point in Putin waiting out the West.”