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Biden, Zelenskyy meeting scheduled during NATO summit

Biden and Zelenskyy
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Washington: US and Ukrainian Presidents Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy will meet during the two-day NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where Kiev’s membership to the military alliance will be one of the main topics of discussion. An informed source said the two leaders will meet on the second day of the Summit on Wednesday, reports CNN.

The main focus of the two-day Summit is Ukraine’s membership which Zelenskyy has been pushing for months amid the ongoing war. But all NATO members agree that Ukraine cannot join the bloc during the war amid fears this would lead to a direct conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia, the BBC reported.

Zelenskyy has admitted that he does not expect a membership until after the war, but he wants the Summit to give a “clear signal” on Ukraine’s bid. In a CNN interview on Sunday night, President Biden said that Ukraine was not yet ready for a NATO membership, adding that Russia needs to first end its ongoing invasion of Kiev, only then can the military alliance consider adding the war-torn nation to its ranks. He said that although talks of granting Kiev a NATO membership was “premature”, the US and its allies in the military alliance will continue to provide Zelenskyy and his forces the security and weaponry they need to try to end the war with Russia.

“I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war,” Biden said. “For example, if you did that, then, you know and I mean what I say we’re determined to commit every inch of territory that is NATO territory. It’s a commitment that we’ve all made no matter what. If the war is going on, then we’re all in war. We’re at war with Russia, if that were the case.”

The President said that he has spoken to Zelenskyy at length about the issue, saying that he has told his Ukrainian counterpart that the US would keep providing security and weaponry for Ukraine like it does for Israel while the process plays out, the Summit will also be attended by the leaders of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and the European Union.

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