Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin will visit Georgia, Ukraine and Romania in the coming days and take part in a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, RBC reports with reference to the press service of the US Department of Defense.
Austin is going to say that NATO’s doors are open and will urge countries to make the necessary changes so that they can qualify for membership in the alliance, the Pentagon said.
“We reaffirm and strengthen the sovereignty of the countries that are on the forefront of Russian aggression,” the US Defense Minister quoted the press service of the department as saying.
Austin intends to meet with the presidents of Ukraine and Romania, Vladimir Zelensky and Klaus Yohannis, and with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, the Pentagon reported.
In September, during a visit to Washington, the Ukrainian side did not receive a direct response from the United States about the country’s entry into the NATO military alliance, TASS reported, citing Zelensky. Ukraine’s aspiration to NATO is dangerous, as it brings the forces of the alliance closer to the borders of Russia, said in September presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
In early October, Secretary General of the NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, during a conversation with US President Joe Biden, stated the need to step up efforts to support Ukraine and Georgia.
In April of this year, Zelensky, during a telephone conversation with Stoltenberg, called Ukraine’s entry into the alliance the only way to end the conflict in Donbass.