NATO’s door remains open. At the Bucharest Summit, we made the decision that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO, but we did not set out date. For a country to become a member, they have to meet NATO standards. Therefore my message to both – Ukraine and Georgia, two countries with different geography and history, but both aspiring for NATO membership, is that they have to focus on reforms. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made this statement during a speech at the College of Europe in Bruges.
According to Stoltenberg, both countries should focus on reform and modernization of the institutions, strengthening the democratic institutions, fighting corruption and implementing reforms.
“NATO and the European Union, we are helping by supporting those reform efforts. They are important regardless you think whether these countries become a member of NATO. Because these reforms are actually helping Georgia and Ukraine,” NATO Chief declared.
According to the NATO Secretary General, the aspirant country itself and NATO member states should decide whether a country becomes a member of NATO or not. No one else can decide, Stoltenberg said.
“It is an absolute right of any sovereign nation to decide its own path, including what kind of security arrangements is wants to be a part. But if a country wants to join NATO, like Georgia and Ukraine, it is up to NATO members and the applicant country to decide, and no one else. Russia cannot deny a sovereign nation the right to join”, Stoltenberg said.