Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s unexpected demand to fast-track NATO membership talks has been met with a mixed reaction in the United States, where US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped short of unequivocally endorsing the move, saying only that Washington is very committed to democracy in Ukraine.
Announcing the bid in response to Russia declaring it had annexed four regions of Ukraine, Zelensky’s demand for accelerated accession to NATO caught Washington off-guard, driving a wedge between a number of US lawmakers.
Noting she’s for Ukraine having a security guarantee, Pelosi, nevertheless, noted they must first win this war.
Even though Washington believed that Moscow was going to invade Ukraine and was simply looking for a pretext, some allies of former President Donald Trump have even sought to convince Kyiv before the Russian invasion to commit to not joining NATO as a way to placate Putin.
Her Democratic from Illinois, Rep. Mike Quigley, however, said that Washington should support Ukraine’s NATO bid, pointing out that Ukraine’s fight is the reason they formed NATO in the first place.
Quigley added that since WWII, the US has recognized that no authoritarian regime can be allowed to wipe out a democratic country.
He was among the lawmakers that were hosting a group of Ukrainian parliamentarians outside the Capitol building on Friday.
The main fear among many Western officials is that allowing Kyiv to become a full-fledged NATO member- which requires the unanimous approval of all 30 member nations- would not only provoke Russia but would also draw the US and Russia into a direct war since Article 5 of NATO’s charter stipulates that an attack on one member is considered an attack against the entire alliance.
This principle, however, has so far been applied in only one instance after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the US.