"We Support NATO's Open Door Policy": U.S. Says Aims To 'Build Bridge' For Ukraine Into NATO

"We Support NATO's Open Door Policy": U.S. Says Aims To 'Build Bridge' For Ukraine Into NATO

The United States on Monday reaffirmed its support for Ukraine's NATO bid, saying however it was necessary to create a "bridge" that would guarantee the ultimate goal of membership, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"We have long said that we support and affirm NATO’s open door policy," State Department's Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told a daily briefing when responding to TURAN's questions.

"Of course, this [recently signed U.S.-Ukraine] bilateral security agreement is not a replacement for that, but it is one of the things that we view as part of that bridge to one day Ukraine being able to join NATO," Patel added.

His comments came as a trio of top Ukrainian officials arrived in Washington last night for a day-long talks with the Biden administration today to shore up plans for the upcoming NATO Summit.

The delegation, led by Presidential adviser Andriy Yermak, includes Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and Energy Minister German Galushchenko. They will spend today with senior Biden administration officials at the White House, as well as the State and Defence Departments to work through some of those issues before the summit.

Prior to today's talks,  President Zelenskyi gave an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, in which he said that the U.S. today does not see Ukraine in NATO "because they are afraid of annoying Putin."

"We have no problem holding Russia to account," Patel said when asked by TURAN on Monday.  "And over the course of this conflict, since their brutal invasion into Ukraine, we have taken a number of steps from export controls, to sanctions to hold the Russian Federation accountable," he added.

He went on to elaborate: "On top of all that, we, of course, have offered so much support to our Ukrainian partners when it comes to security assistance, economic assistance, humanitarian assistance... Just two weeks ago the President signed a bilateral security agreement with President Zelenskyy underlying and reassuring our commitment to the people of Ukraine, because we believe that a commitment such as that one is critical to ensuring Ukraine’s security democratically, economically, and in a security sense as well."

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