‘Conditions have to be met’ by Ukraine to join NATO, German def min says
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius. Photo: EPA

German defence minister Boris Pistorius said that while he understood Ukraine’s disappointment with the decisions taken at the NATO summit in Vilnius, there still are a number of conditions Kyiv has to fulfil to join the Alliance.

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"Everyone says Ukraine's future is in NATO as soon as the war is over," Mr Pistorius said in an interview with the German channel ARD.

He added that the additional conditions for membership are "perfectly normal", including "interoperability in systems", i.e. that Ukrainian weapons systems can be deployed together with those of the rest of the NATO countries, questions of governance, and democratic control of the armed forces.

"All these are normal standards among all NATO member states… I understand the displeasure and impatience. Especially in the situation Ukraine is in, I have full sympathy for it."

Germany’s defence chief added that certain "conditions have to be met" by Ukraine to join NATO.

"Any membership before the border issues are clarified and there is peace would lead to the alliance case being triggered quasi immediately by some action," Mr Pistorius explained.

At a meeting Tuesday, the North Atlantic Alliance’s leaders agreed to remove a membership action plan stage for Ukraine on its way to NATO membership, but did not extend an invitation to join, something that Kyiv has been hoping for.

Ukraine has repeatedly said that it wants to receive a political invitation to the Alliance at the NATO summit in Vilnius, although it appreciates that membership is out of the question until the end of the war.