President Joe Biden said Ukraine is not yet ready to join NATO due to Russia’s invasion, providing the clearest position of the administration on the issue to date.
“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 told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview published Sunday. “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.”
Under NATO’s Article 5, all member states view an attack on one state as an attack on all.
“I think we have to lay out a rational path for Ukraine to be able to qualify to be able to get into NATO,” Biden continued. He added that he refused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands for NATO to commit to never including Ukraine, since the alliance has an “open-door policy.”
Biden administration officials have previously maintained they would be open to the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO. Biden said in June he would not “make it easy” for the war-torn country to join the alliance, since it would have to adhere to the standards. (RELATED: NATO Clears Final Hurdle To Add New Member Finland)