Vadym Prystaiko believes that there’s realistically nothing better on our side of the continent than NATO to defend Ukraine’s independence in the near future.
He said this during our extensive interview, which covered a number of topics related to foreign relations with Russia and the West.
Whilst he noted that there are only 29 countries who are present members of NATO and some countries don’t feel they need to join the alliance to feel secure, his position is clear regardless of the way the Donbas conflict ends: Ukraine has to think now about its security in the future. As things stand, NATO membership seems like the most logical solution to the minister.
Despite the declined importance of the December NATO summit in London where former president Petro Poroshenko previously suggested Ukraine submits an application for consideration for the membership action plan (MAP), NATO and E.U. membership remains Ukraine’s priority.
We will request [the MAP] when we can have a positive response and when Ukraine is ready for it.
But because, according to Prystaiko, the upcoming event would resemble more of a meeting of heads of states to celebrate the organization’s seventieth anniversary without the presence of NATO partners, Ukraine would not be able to request the plan even hypothetically.
The foreign minister sees no treachery in this format for the December meeting since it is ultimately up to the members to decide on it. Prystaiko goes on to warn against looking for ulterior motives in this move:
"There is nothing to deconstruct here. NATO does no betrayal in this regard, first and foremost to itself."
Looking into the future, the minister also announced the way Ukraine can restore its authority and rights to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. During the upcoming visit from the North Atlantic Council, the so-called “Black Sea Package” is expected to be approved which would provide for this to happen.
The full interview with the new foreign minister of Ukraine can be found here.