Biden says vision for peace in Ukraine doesn't have to include NATO membership

Tuesday, 4 June 2024

US President Joe Biden has said that peace in Ukraine means a guarantee that Russia will never be able to occupy Ukraine, but he does not think that Ukraine has to become a NATO member for this to be the case.

Biden was asked in an interview with TIME about his vision for peace in Ukraine after the end of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

"Peace looks like making sure Russia never, never, never, never occupies Ukraine. That's what peace looks like. And it doesn't mean NATO, they are part of NATO," Biden replied.

"It means we have a relationship with them like we do with other countries, where we supply weapons so they can defend themselves in the future. But [...] I am not prepared to support the NATOization of Ukraine," he added.


Biden recalled spending time in Ukraine during his terms as US senator and vice president: "There was significant corruption. There was a circumstance that was really difficult."

Still, Biden stressed that the West cannot allow Ukraine to fall, because it would destabilise every country that borders Russia, from the Balkans to Belarus.

Biden also denied that helping Ukraine puts NATO on a slippery slope to war with Russia: "No, we're on a slippery slope for war if we don't do something about Ukraine."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that the July NATO summit in Washington, DC, should be an occasion to provide a "bridge" for Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance.

On 29 May, US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said that important changes in the wording regarding Ukraine's membership prospects will be made at an upcoming meeting of NATO leaders in Washington and that NATO has agreed on the need to send a political signal about Ukraine's pathway to NATO membership.

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