Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius believes that the obstacle to Ukraine's accession to NATO is not only the ongoing conflict in Donbas, but also the Russian occupation of Crimea.
He said this in an interview with European Truth.
"Of course, the current situation, the war with Russia, is not in your favor. NATO rules are such that the Alliance will not invite a member state on the borders of which the war continues - regardless of who is the aggressor and who is the victim," said the minister. .
He explained that, in his opinion, the conflict in Donbass is an obstacle to Ukraine's accession to the Alliance. However, he later added that the Crimean issue could also become a problem.
"Of course, the fact that the state has problems with the exercise of sovereignty and territorial integrity (we are talking about the occupied Crimea. - EP) - is also an important argument. But in this case, the fact that Ukraine is not responsible for this, and it "It's an important counterargument. But in any case, all these issues must be resolved in due course," Linkevičius said.
Asked whether Ukraine should resolve the Crimean issue before joining NATO, he said in the affirmative: "Of course, to membership. But the invitation to membership will not come quickly, believe me. Ukraine also needs to understand this. It took Lithuania 10 years." - stated the Foreign Minister.
At the same time, the Lithuanian Minister advised Ukraine not to focus on these obstacles.
"It is better to continue reforms. And there must be changes not only in the military, but also in the economy, in the issue of democratic freedoms. NATO is not just about the army. NATO's criteria largely coincide with those needed for rapprochement with the EU." said Linkevičius.
Read the full interview: Linas Linkevičius: Too active a fight against Poroshenko doesn't have a very good smell.
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