Zelenskyy, Trudeau Discuss Prospects Of Kiev Obtaining NATO Membership Action Plan
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a phone conversation on Tuesday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and said that Kiev was counting on Canada's assistance in obtaining the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP)
KIEV (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 06th April, 2021) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a phone conversation on Tuesday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and said that Kiev was counting on Canada's assistance in obtaining the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP).
"Thank you, @JustinTrudeau, that in difficult times, Canada is always close to Ukraine. Canada's assistance in obtaining the @NATO MAP will be an important signal of support from true friends. I will be glad to welcome you to the #Crimean Platform summit on August 23," Zelenskyy said on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian president discussed the recent escalation in the eastern Donbas region with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and expressed the belief that NATO membership was the only way to end the war. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Ukraine's membership in NATO would only exacerbate existing domestic problems, since residents of the self-proclaimed republics in Donbas see this as a "profoundly unacceptable" prospect.
Ukraine has been trying to join NATO after canceling its non-aligned status in 2014. It changed the constitution in 2019 to enshrine its aspiration to NATO membership. The move was met with criticism in Russia, which has repeatedly criticized the buildup of this alliance in eastern Europe.
In June 2019, Ukraine acquired the status of a NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner. The country's new status does not imply its membership in the alliance. The military bloc continues to support Kiev's aspiration to become a full member.
Kiev plans to discuss the reintegration of Crimea at the Crimean Platform summit, scheduled for August 23, the eve of Ukrainian Independence Day. Kiev has invited Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the United States, among other nations, to join the platform. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in March that Ukraine's efforts to "return" Crimea were illegitimate and would be perceived by Moscow as a threat of aggression against Russian regions.