The White House said Wednesday the world should show “a degree of gratitude” to the U.S. for supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia, one day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized NATO for not offering the country a membership.
“I think the American people do deserve a degree of gratitude — from us, from the United States, from our government — deserve gratitude for their willingness to step up, and from the rest of the world, as well,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a public forum in Lithuania on the sidelines of the NATO summit.
Sullivan also said “the United States of America has stepped up to provide an enormous amount of capacity to help ensure that Ukraine’s brave soldiers have the ammunition, the air defense, the infantry fighting vehicles, the mine-clearing equipment and so much else to be able to effectively defend against Russia’s onslaught and to take territory back, as well.” (RELATED: Biden Says Ukraine Should Join NATO ‘An Hour And 20 Minutes’ After The War Ends)
Zelenskyy criticized NATO on Tuesday for not giving Ukraine a timeline for joining the alliance. Finland has joined NATO since Russia launched a war on Ukraine in February 2022, and Sweden has almost cleared the final hurdle of getting support from all of the alliance’s members.
“It’s unprecedented and absurd when time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership. While at the same time vague wording about ‘conditions’ is added even for inviting Ukraine,” Zelenskyy tweeted.
President Joe Biden has said Ukraine is not ready to join NATO at the moment, since being in the alliance would mean the U.S. would be at war with Russia under Article 5. He also noted that “we have to lay out a rational path for Ukraine to be able to qualify to be able to get into NATO.”
The U.S. is committed to aiding Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” the administration has reiterated throughout the war against Russia.