Ukraine mulls NATO entry to offset tension with Russia

Photo: EPA Volodymyr Zelenskiy

Ukraine hopes to secure a fast entry in NATO in a move to block Russian aggression over its borders. The US top diplomat Antony Blinken is expected to visit Kyiv and to vow western support for Ukraine ambitions to join the Alliance, Reuters reported. The Secretary of State will meet President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. However the US support will come with a number of conditions which include speeding up of reforms and fighting corruption.

US President Joe Biden has pledged "unwavering support" to Zelenskiy as Kyiv and Moscow traded blame for clashes in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region and Russia deployed troops and weapons to the border. Zelenskiy has made it clear that he wants significant action. “Ukraine needs a clear signal about the European and Euro-Atlantic prospect,” he said referring to Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO and the European Union. “Postponing these issues for later has to end.”

Moscow announced a withdrawal of its forces on 22 April, helping pave the way for a summit between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could take place as early as June.

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