Ukraine won’t be able to join Nato until it does this one thing

Zelenskyy has continuously pushed for Nato membership (Picture: EPA)
Zelenskyy has continuously pushed for Nato membership (Picture: EPA)

Ukraine’s Nato aspirations have been dashed once again, after the alliance said it requires ‘additional steps’ from the country before membership talks can begin.

A senior official in the US State Department has cited corruption as a main issue for Ukraine’s path to Nato membership.

They told the Telegraph: ‘We have to step back and applaud everything that Ukraine has done in the name of reforms over the last two-plus years.

‘As they continue to make those reforms, we want to commend them, we want to talk about additional steps that need to be taken, particularly in the area of anti-corruption. It is a priority for many of us around the table.’

Despite issues of corruption in Ukraine being addressed by a massive probe from within the country in 2023, its Nato membership is still far off.

The previous corruption crackdown saw several senior Ukrainian officials quit after president Volodymyr Zelensky pledged a shake-up amid allegations of corruption during the war with Russia.

Much of Europe are already Nato members (Picture: Metro.co.uk)
Much of Europe are already Nato members (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

They included Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the president’s deputy head of office, who had worked on Mr Zelensky’s election campaign that promised to tackle corruption.

He had been under investigation for his personal use of luxury cars and was among officials linked to the embezzlement of £5.7million aid earmarked for the southern Zaporizhzhia region last September.

Mr Tymoshenko denied the allegations.

Deputy defence minister Viacheslav Shapovalov also resigned. Reports allege his decision was linked to a scandal involving the purchase of food for Ukrainian armed forces.

Deputy prosecutor general Oleksiy Symonenko also quit.

Zelenskyy and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will likely meet during the summit (Picture: AFP)
Zelenskyy and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will likely meet during the summit (Picture: AFP)

The resignations followed the sacking of deputy infrastructure minister Vasyl ­Lozynsky – accused of taking a £322,000 bribe to fix rebuilding ­contracts.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine called him part of ‘an organised criminal group’.

Mr Zelensky said he intended Mr Lozynksy’s sacking to send ‘a signal to all those whose actions or behaviour violate the principle of justice’.

Though Nato aspirations for Ukraine look far off, nearly 20 countries have signed security agreements with the former Soviet country.

The upcoming Nato summit in Washington, D.C., from July 9 to 11, will see heads of state from around the world convene.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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