More pressure needs to be applied on Russia to help Ukraine win the war, which in part means integrating Ukraine into NATO, said Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak while taking part in a debate for the Atlantic Council think tank.
He told the American think tank that “integrating Ukraine into NATO and the EU will be the best possible measure for bringing stability and prosperity to the Euroatlantic community” and that this is the reason why NATO must confirm that Ukraine’s accession is still valid.
His contribution was part of the Atlantic Council’s pre-VIlnius NATO summit debate. The summit in the capital of Lithuania will take place in July.
The Polish defense minister argued that until Russia is ready for a political settlement of the conflict, in a way that guarantees Ukrainian security, the West has no choice but to continue with comprehensive support for Kyiv to allow it to push Russian forces out of Ukrainian territory. This is why he also called for tougher sanctions and observed that Russia’s decision to place nuclear weapons in Belarus indicates that it is not ready to pursue peace.
Błaszczak said that there was a need to persuade a wider spectrum of countries that maintaining good relations with Russia was not in their interests. He added that those countries that are not prepared to help Ukraine militarily should at least help it financially.
At the same meeting of the Atlantic Council, NATO’s commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, together with the foreign minister of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, agreed with the think tank’s call for the Vilnius NATO summit to open the door to Ukrainian membership of the alliance.
Breedlove said that Moscow so far had unfortunately managed to deter the West from fully backing Ukraine.