- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO in the near future.
- He said that the eastern European country won't become a member of the alliance "any time soon."
- Ukraine's Zelenskyy on Tuesday said his country "must admit" that it wouldn't join NATO.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday ruled out any possibility of Ukraine joining NATO in the near future, saying that the eastern European country won't become a member of the transatlantic alliance "any time soon."
Johnson told reporters that he spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday about NATO and the "reality of the position."
"And everybody's always said and we made it clear to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, there's no way Ukraine is going to join NATO any time soon," Johnson said amid Russia's nearly three-week attack on Ukraine.
Johnson added, "But the decision about the future of Ukraine has got to be for the Ukrainian people and for Volodymyr Zelenskyy as their elected leader, and we will back him."
"And the most important thing is that Putin's aggression, his absolutely barbaric attacks on Ukraine, should stop and they should not be seen to have succeeded and they won't succeed," Johnson said.
Zelenskyy on Tuesday said his country "must admit" that it wouldn't join NATO.
"It is clear that Ukraine is not a member of NATO. We understand that. We are adequate people," Zelenskyy said in a meeting with leaders of the Joint Expeditionary Force.
"For years, we have heard about the supposedly open door, but we have also heard that we should not enter, and this is true and we must admit it," he said of Ukraine's bid to join NATO, which was launched back in 2008.
But Zelenskyy said that security guarantees from NATO allies would be imperative to keep Ukraine safe amid Russia's invasion of the country.
Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on NATO allies to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine and echoed those remarks during a virtual Wednesday morning address to US Congress.