But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lamented that NATO’s open-door policy to new members did not appear to apply to his country. “The open-door policy of NATO shouldn’t resemble the old turnstiles on Kyiv’s subway, which stay open but close when you approach them until you pay,” Zelenskyy said by video link. “Hasn’t Ukraine paid enough?”
NATO declared Russia the “most significant and direct threat” to its members’ peace and security on Wednesday and vowed to strengthen support for Ukraine, even as that country’s leader chided the alliance for not doing more to help it defeat Moscow, AP reports.
The military organization’s condemnation was not wholly surprising: Its chief earlier said Russia’s war in Ukraine had created Europe’s biggest security crisis since World War II. But it was a sobering about-face for an alliance that a decade ago called Moscow a strategic partner.
NATO also issued a warning about China, accusing it of bullying its neighbors and forming a “strategic partnership” with Moscow that poses a challenge to the West.
Set up some 70 years ago to counter the Soviet Union, NATO held its summit in Madrid in a world transformed by Russia’s invasion of its neighbor. The war drove the alliance to pour troops and weapons into eastern Europe on a scale unseen in decades and pushed Sweden and Finland to seek the safety of NATO membership.
The two formerly nonaligned nations were formally invited to join on Wednesday, as Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the war had brought “the biggest overhaul of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”
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