Ukraine president looking for clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from Biden on NATO membership

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said he is looking for a clear “yes” or “no” answer from President Biden regarding a NATO Membership Action Plan for Ukraine.

Zelensky, who for some time has been calling for Ukraine to become a member of NATO, told Reuters, The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse in a joint interview that the U.S. should provide economic support to Ukraine.

He added that Russia was delaying a meeting between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin for no clear reason.

Zelensky also noted that a majority of the Russian troops that were moved near Ukraine’s borders in the spring had not yet been pulled out.

Zelensky, who has been in office since May 2019, has for months been advocating for Ukraine to become a NATO member.

In January, when asked during an interview with Axios what he needs from the U.S., Zelensky said he would first ask Biden, “Mr. President, why are we not in NATO yet?,” according to a translation of the interview from Ukraine’s presidential website.

Zelensky said that if Ukraine had been a member of NATO, he does not think tensions would have escalated in eastern Ukraine with Russia.

Last month, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba questioned why Ukraine was not invited to the NATO summit, set to take place on Monday, citing aggression from Russia.

Biden is scheduled to meet face-to-face with Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, the first in-person meeting between the two leaders with Biden as president.

Zelensky implored Biden to meet with him before the scheduled summit, telling Axios in an interview earlier this month that he would meet “at any moment and any spot on the planet.”

One day after the interview aired, Biden invited Zelensky to the White House this summer.

Tags Joe Biden NATO NATO members Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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