President Joe Biden said that Ukraine needs to do more to crack down on corruption, after its president Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders agreed to accept his country as a member.
Biden made the remark during his press conference on Monday following a morning and afternoon of meetings at the NATO summit in Brussels.
‘It depends on whether they meet the criteria,’ Biden said regarding the Ukraine membership question. ‘The fact is they still have to clean up corruption.’
Earlier on Monday, Zelenskiy tweeted very promising news for his country, which has long sought admittance into NATO.
‘Commend @NATO partners’ understanding of all the risks and challenges we face. NATO leaders confirmed that (Ukraine) will become a member of the Alliance & the #MAP (Membership Action Plan) is an integral part of the membership process,’ Zelenskiy wrote. ‘(Ukraine) deserves due appreciation of its role in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security.’
Zelenskiy in an interview with news wires also said ‘I would really like to get specifics – yes or no’ from Biden about whether Ukraine could participate in the Membership Action Plan for candidate countries.
‘We must get clear dates and the likelihood of this for Ukraine,’ Zelenskiy said.
The Ukrainian president added that Biden assured him that he would not use Ukraine as a bargaining point when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.
However, Biden said that ‘school’s out’ on whether Ukraine would be able to take part in the action plan. Biden said that Russia’s support for an insurgency in east Ukraine would not impact Ukraine’s possible entry into NATO.
‘In the meantime, we will do all that we can to put Ukraine in the position to be able to continue resist Russian physical aggression and it will not just depend on me, whether or not we conclude Ukraine can become part of NATO,’ Biden said. ‘It will depend on the alliance and how they vote.’
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]