NATO urged to accept Ukraine application ‘without delay’

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NATO should approve Ukraine’s application to join the alliance, a new poll of Express.co.uk readers has found. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine was officially applying for NATO membership on September 30. In a speech filmed outside his presidential office in Kyiv, Mr Zelensky said he was making the“decisive step” to protect “the entire community” of Ukrainians. He also vowed that the application would be dealt with in an “expedited manner”.

He added: “We trust each other, we help each other, and we protect each other. This is the alliance. De facto. Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure.”

The move came just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he was annexing four Ukrainian regions.

Russian Security Council official, Alexander Venediktov, warned that Ukraine joining NATO would result in a third world war, telling TASS news agency on Thursday, October 13: “Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War 3.” 

He added that the West are “a direct party to the conflict” by helping Ukraine.

In a poll that ran from 11am on Tuesday, October 4 to 9am on Thursday, October 13, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should Ukraine’s NATO application be approved?”

Overall, 3,949 people responded with the vast majority, 78 percent (3,079 people) answering “yes”, Ukraine’s application to NATO should be approved.

A further 20 percent (807 people) said “no” Ukraine should not be accepted and a further two percent (63 people) said they did not know.

Readers shared their thoughts on Ukraine’s NATO application in a lively debate, with dozens of comments left below the accompanying article.

One reader, username bettina said: “Certainly, Ukraine should be accepted immediately.”

Username Tarpan, said: “Absolutely. Approve Ukraine joining NATO and move in NATO troops.”

Another, username oreo king said: “Of course ‘yes’ and without delay.”

And username simbatipps said: “Yes, they should have never been refused.”

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For applications to be approved, all 30 member states of NATO must come to a unanimous agreement.

However, under NATO’s treaty, the collective defence clause Article 5, approval is restricted to candidates at war or with disputed territories.

Meanwhile, some readers thought that Ukraine’s membership should wait until the conflict is resolved.

Username Pockets 051 said: “Not while they are at war but most certainly at end of hostilities.”

Likewise, username pharun said: “Of course, Ukraine should be allowed to join NATO once peace has been restored.”

Other readers thought that Ukraine’s application should be denied, with username Garibaldi writing: “Obviously not. They don’t meet the criteria for membership.”

Username TruthHangar said: “Definitely not. Not if you don’t want a nuclear war and WW3 on the cards.”

Following Mr Zelensky’s announcement, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said: “Every democracy in Europe has the right to apply for NATO membership, and NATO allies respect that right, and we have stated again and again that NATO’s door remains open.”

He added that NATO members continue to “support Ukraine’s right to choose its own path, to decide what kind of security arrangements it wants to be part of”.

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