Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Friday that the nation has applied for a fast-tracked membership into NATO.
Zelenskyy’s remarks were made in a video address on Friday after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to annex parts of Ukraine.
Putin spoke during a ceremony at St. George’s Hall to celebrate the annexed regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson. During the speech, he claimed that the West is trying to turn Russia into a colony and “crowds of slaves.”
“History has called us to a battlefield to fight for our people, for the grand historic Russia, for future generations,” Putin said.
The US and European Union have said that they will not recognize the annexed territory as part of Russia.
Moscow said that they will defend the territories by “all available means.”
Shortly after the speech, Zelenskyy’s video was released.
“We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” Zelenskyy said in the video.
The moment president Zelenskyy signed the application for Ukraine’s accession to NATO in an accelerated manner pic.twitter.com/kw0kyKeI6e
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“De facto, we have already proven compatibility with alliance standards. They are real for Ukraine — real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction,” Zelenskyy said. “We trust each other, we help each other, and we protect each other. This is the alliance.”
Zelenskyy also said that he is not open to negotiating with President Putin.
“We are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia,” the Ukrainian president said.
The video concluded with Zelenskyy signing the application.
In order for Ukraine’s membership to be approved, all 30 NATO allies must agree to allow it.
EuroNews noted that “NATO’s Article 5 defense clause – the pledge that all allies must come to the aid of any ally whose territory is under threat – would be compromised in the case of Ukraine, as it is unclear what parts of the country would join.”
NATO has historically been against allowing nations to join if they do not have clearly defined borders and are in the midst of conflict.