The UK would support a fast track for Ukraine to join NATO, the Foreign Secretary has said.
France also seems to favor the idea, according to the top diplomat in Paris.
How to advance Ukraine’s NATO membership even as its forces struggle against the Russian invasion will be one of the key decisions expected by the alliance’s leaders at a major summit next month in Baltic state of Lithuania.
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Any nation that wants to join NATO must complete an action plan to ensure that its armed forces meet certain standards and are properly funded.
But that requirement was waived when Finland and Sweden applied to join last year and were allowed to leave again.
James cleverlythe British Foreign Secretary, said that all allies recognize that the Ukrainian armed forces are already adapting to meet the alliance’s entry standards.
“We’ve seen Ukraine evolve and evolve incredibly quickly,” he told reporters at a news conference on the sidelines of a conference in London on rebuilding Ukraine.
He said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had told allies at a recent informal meeting of foreign ministers in Norway that “many of the requirements” of the so-called membership action plan (MAP ) are already being fulfilled.
“The reform of their armed forces is happening while they are in conflict,” Cleverly said.
“I think the UK position would be very, very favorable if we move on from the membership action plan, recognizing that the offer in both Finland and Sweden did not require it and the Ukrainians have shown their commitment to reform: the military reform required for NATO membership – through its actions on the battlefield.
“I think all NATO allies recognize that.”
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Catherine Colonna, the French foreign minister, indicated that her country was thinking along the same lines.
“I can see the possibility that the MAP is no longer a stage of this route, this road map to accession,” he said, speaking in English at reports of the Ukraine conference.
Speaking in French, he said it had been a long time since NATO first talked about an “open door” policy towards Ukraine’s and Georgia’s aspirations to join in 2008.
“We may not require the ‘Membership Action Plan’ mechanism – maybe not, I say maybe not – that was planned in 2008,” he said.
“We are a long way from 2008. Time has passed, the situation is very different.”