Ukraine’s accession to NATO depends on both the end of the war and political criteria

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The prime minister today rejected the idea that Ukraine’s membership in NATO is only dependent on the end of the war, advocating that political and economic criteria must also be ensured for the process to move forward.

“It’s not a question of time, it’s the effective conditions,” António Costa said, speaking to journalists at the end of a visit to a Portuguese military detachment at the Šiauliai Air Base, 200 kilometers from Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital.

The prime minister considered that all NATO member states must “respect the principle” that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “is an open-door alliance” and that Ukraine has “full legitimacy” to join it one day, “when the right conditions are met.

“These are diverse conditions, conditions of a military nature, of a political nature, conditions of an economic nature, in the same way that, in parallel, we are discussing what is the degree of Ukraine’s participation in the European Union,” added António Costa, flanked by the Minister of National Defense, Helena Carreiras.

Portugal’s position is similar to that of countries like the United States, France or Germany, which are more cautious about joining NATO than, for example, Poland and Lithuania, which want faster membership.

The Prime Minister said that for there to be a concrete discussion about Ukraine’s membership the conflict on its territory must end. And even then, other criteria that are required of all member states have to be assured: “The political circumstances will determine that this accession will be much faster than one could imagine.”

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