UK Defence Secretary, who has expressed a desire to become the next NATO Secretary General, does not see Ukraine joining the Alliance shortly. Ben Wallace said this in an interview with The Washington Post.
Answering a question about Ukraine"s prospects of joining NATO, Wallace pointed to the existing disagreements about Kyiv’s path to the Alliance. He noted that NATO, just like the EU, should not repeat the mistakes of the past by making excessive promises to applicants such as Ukraine.
“We have to be realistic and say: “It’s not going to happen at Vilnius”; It’s not going to happen anytime soon”, - Wallace said, referring to the NATO leaders’ summit scheduled for July.
“But what can those powers that want to be more forward-leaning do to help Ukraine, and to give it not 100 percent but a similar effect to what NATO delivers?”, - asked the UK Defence Secretary.
Wallace said that a number of countries are willing to enter into bilateral or multilateral “mutual defence pacts” with Ukraine and commit to long-term plans to build the country"s military capabilities to make sure that an invasion of Ukraine in the future will be costly for Russia or anyone else.
The UK Defence Secretary believes that such bilateral arrangements may succeed in deterring Russia, as “Russia’s land forces are going to be significantly depleted for the next 10 years”.