Biden indicated Monday that he is open to Ukraine becoming a member of the NATO alliance but stressed that it must first meet certain criteria, including rooting out corruption.
“School’s out on that question. It remains to be seen. In the meantime, we will do all that we can to put Ukraine in the position to be able to continue to resist Russian physical aggression,” the president told reporters at a news conference in Brussels after a day of meetings with leaders from the alliance.
In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, triggering international outrage.
In recent days, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked the Group of Seven nations for their help as they have called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the Ukraine border.
In its joint communique, the NATO members reaffirmed the decision made in 2008 about Ukraine’s process for becoming a member. “The success of wide-ranging, sustainable, and irreversible reforms, including combating corruption, promoting an inclusive political process, and decentralisation reform, based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities, and the rule of law, will be crucial in laying the groundwork for a prosperous and peaceful Ukraine,” the communique said.
Tweets from various entities in Ukraine on Monday suggested there had been a change in policy, but Biden made it clear that was not the case.
He stressed that the decision is not his alone but will “depend on the alliance and how they vote.”