Ukraine makes NATO membership bid

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NATO chief: Decision on Ukraine’s membership must be taken by all 30 allies

A decision on Ukraine’s request to join NATO must be taken by all members, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

“NATO is not party to the conflict,” Stoltenberg said, adding that “a decision on [Ukraine’s] membership has to be taken by all 30 allies by consensus.”

Stoltenberg called Russia’s announcement to annex Ukrainian territory the most serious escalation of the conflict since Moscow invaded its neighbour in February.

“Putin has mobilised hundreds of thousands of more troops, engaged in irresponsible nuclear sabre-rattling and now illegally annexed more Ukrainian territory. Together, this represents the most serious escalation since the start of the war,” Stoltenberg told a news conference.

He said NATO reaffirmed its “unwavering support” for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and would not be deterred by Putin from supporting the country in defending itself against Russia.