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Former UK PM Johnson backs Ukraine’s NATO bid, citing clear need for security

Boris Johnson was in Kyiv on the second anniversary of the Russian invasion, attending the event Two years - stay in fight, organized with the support of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation
Boris Johnson was in Kyiv on the second anniversary of the Russian invasion, attending the event Two years - stay in fight, organized with the support of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO in an interview with NV on March 8, stating that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had eliminated the only argument against Kyiv’s membership.

“There should be no major obstacles now,” said the consistent supporter of Ukraine and current member of the International Working Group on Ukraine’s Security and Euro-Atlantic Integration, established a month ago with the participation of former NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Johnson believes it is “vital that Ukraine be in NATO.”

“I mean, the problem has been caused by our ambiguity, our inability for decades to clearly define what Ukraine is and what its place is in the Euro-Atlantic security architecture,” he said.

Read also: Stoltenberg assures that Ukraine will join NATO

“Now the answer is clear – Ukraine must be in NATO. We tried to live when Ukraine was not in NATO, and let’s face it: it was a disaster.

I find it hard to imagine that Russia could be any more of a threat than it already is, and I can’t imagine anything more barbaric than what Russia is doing today,” Johnson said, adding that the “not provoking Russia” argument against Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance had been eliminated by Putin.

At the same time, he acknowledged that one of the main difficulties on Ukraine’s path to NATO is the ongoing war.

“And that, of course, gives Putin an incentive to continue the war, because then Ukraine will not join NATO. So there is a vicious circle that has to be broken. You have to find a way to start the process of Ukraine’s accession, even if the borders are not stable, even if the war continues.”

Read also: ‘Probably after the war’ — Ukraine won’t be invited to join NATO this year — U.S. State Department

Johnson optimistically outlined “strong practical arguments” for such an approach, including the interoperability of Ukrainian forces with NATO troops.

“In terms of combat power, in terms of the effectiveness of the army, the armed forces, I think there is hardly a NATO force in the entire Alliance that can really be compared to Ukraine. I think it was the Supreme Allied Commander Europe who said that when it comes to the ability to kill Russian troops, the Ukrainians are actually superior and the most effective.”

On Feb. 13, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said that at the summit in Washington this summer, the Alliance would probably not invite Ukraine to join, but would give a clear signal of future membership.

Read also: Boris Johnson declines Tucker Carlson interview following Navalny's death

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine