“I hope they (issues) will never have to be raised, and we’ll be able to congratulate Ukraine on joining the defense club,” said Landsbergis, commenting on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s move to submit an official application for Ukraine’s membership in NATO on an expedited basis.
According to the minister, Lithuania supports Ukraine’s desire to become a NATO member.
Landsbergis also noted that many questions will arise if Ukraine does not become part of the alliance after defeating Russia.
“My question is the following: what NATO would be like and the meaning of NATO if Ukraine were not in it,” he said.
“(What happens) if NATO recognizes that the aggressive Russian Federation is our most strategic challenge in the 21st century, and Ukraine is the only state that won a war against the Russian Federation, (and yet) it remains outside NATO. Then Ukraine becomes larger than NATO, it becomes NATO’s defender. In a certain sense, it protected NATO from NATO’s strategic enemy.”
Landsbergis said that Ukraine has become a very strong transatlantic state, which will become a NATO member and will have extremely strong ties with the United States after defeating Russia.
“On the one hand, this is clear, on the other hand, it shows that the EU and the European continent have not yet been able to become such an anchor that geopolitically and strategically binds the state for many decades,” the minister said.
“The United States is doing this now.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Sept. 30 that his country would apply for NATO membership on an expedited basis. The document was signed by the president, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk.
According to Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President’s Office to Ukraine, Ukraine held consultations with NATO before filing its request to join the alliance on an expedited basis.
The presidents of nine NATO countries (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) on Oct. 2 called for “a significant increase in military assistance to Ukraine” and supported its membership in the Alliance.
The Office of the President of Ukraine reported on Oct. 4 that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had received Ukraine’s application. Now it will be considered at the level of ambassadors of NATO member states in Brussels.