The Strategist

Pentagon chief: Ukraine's accession to NATO should be decided by all allied states

10/03/2022 - 04:32

The head of the U.S. Department of Defense, Lloyd Austin, offered his opinion on Ukraine's request for rapid NATO membership. He stated that the choice is up to the alliance's 30 members.

At a joint press conference in Hawaii with his Australian counterpart Richard Marles, Mr. Austin stated, "We are committed to maintaining NATO's 'open door' policy, but how that happens is really an issue that is resolved by the 30 countries that are voting."

He pointed out that the nation applying for NATO membership must also make a choice. The U.S. is committed to making sure Kiev has "everything it needs to thrive," the secretary said.

In response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's determination to annex more land after holding referendums, Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for expedited NATO membership. The White House advised debating the matter "at another time."

Politico claims that Washington was unaware of Kiev's plans because it feared that they might spark a conflict with Russia.