Washington split over Ukraine leader’s NATO bid: Report

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 4, 2019. (File photo)

Ukraine’s repeated bid for accelerated accession to NATO has caught US lawmakers off-guard, evoking mixed responses in Washington.

Politico reported that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's request once more on Friday for accession to NATO apparently came as a surprise to the Biden administration.

Following referendums in four former eastern Ukrainian regions to join Russia, Zelensky demanded that the procedure for joining NATO be fast-tracked.

To elaborate on this matter Politico asked US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if she supported Ukraine’s demand to join NATO.

Pelosi responded by insisting that the US is “very committed to democracy in Ukraine.” “Let’s win this war. But I would be for them having a security guarantee.”

Democratic Party colleague Representative Mike Quigley (D- Illinois) told Politico that the US government should support Ukraine’s NATO bid.

“Ukraine’s fight is the reason we formed NATO in the first place,” he pointed out, adding that since WWII, the US has recognized “that an authoritarian regime cannot be allowed to wipe out a democratic country.”

However, according to Politico, many Western officials fear that if Ukraine becomes a member of the US-led NATO, it would not only provoke Russia, but would also draw Washington and Moscow into a direct war, as the group’s charter stipulates that an attack on one member is considered an attack against the entire alliance.

Since the 2008 Bucharest Summit, when NATO leaders supported in a declaration the accession of Ukraine and Georgia, Russia has time and again warned against Kiev's membership in the military alliance.

Moscow has stressed that it considers NATO's expansion to its borders as a direct security threat.

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