NATO Summit Poised To 'Offer Bridge' For Ukraine, Key U.S. Diplomat Says

NATO Summit Poised To 'Offer Bridge' For Ukraine, Key U.S. Diplomat Says

The United States on Monday reaffirmed its support for Ukraine's NATO bid, as the Alianse is poised to offer "a bridge" for Kyiv during its upcoming summit in Washington, TURAN's U.S. correspondent reports.

"We see the bridge as short, unimpeded – the path is open for Ukraine to move forward," James O'Brien, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, told a briefing organized by the State Department's Washington Foreign Press Center.

He went on to explain, "Our position has been very clear. As the President [Biden] has said, Ukraine needs to undertake some reforms so that it’s ready to be part of NATO.  And now, the President has also said we believe Ukraine can and will accomplish those reforms."

Every one of the other 32 members of NATO has had to go through some kind of reform process, as O'Brien put it. "And over the last years with the continued enlargement after the end of the Cold War, those reforms have preceded the entry into NATO.  So that’s the process we see in this case.  We have every confidence that Ukraine can and will achieve that," O'Brien said.

According to him, at the end of the NATO summit, and then followed by the European political community meeting the next week in the UK, "it’ll be an opportunity to note that Ukraine is integrating fully into the Western structures that its government and its people have said they want."

Speaking about the dynamics of the battlefield, O'Brien said it's "shifting in a meaningful way in recent weeks." and that the time is "on Ukraine’s side, not on Russia’s side,"

"That will be another focus of the NATO summit," he emphasized.

During the long period before U.S. assistance arrived, Russia had gotten used to firing from uncomfortably close ranges at Ukrainian targets.  "And now we see that those firing positions are much less stable, and Russia is being forced to move back, which makes it tactically much less successful," O'Brien insisted.

"Russia continues a campaign of terrorism against Ukrainian targets... That kind of indiscriminate targeting is not going to win the war for Russia, but is an explanation of why Ukraine needs to continue fighting it," he said.

TURAN's correspondent pressed O'Brien on reports that U.S. permission to use American weapons inside Russia was limited with about 100 kilometers, which puts Russian air bases out of the firing range.

"We’re trying to respond to immediate security threats to the Ukrainian people in the way that we feel is best," the assistant secretary said.

"We see that the immediate need for Ukraine is to attack the targets that are jeopardizing Ukraine’s ability to sustain the fight.  And we think that’s within the range that has been provided.... I do think that this strategy, which is very openly announced and described, does put the lie to any claims out of Moscow that the U.S. is looking to escalate this war," he concluded.

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