Even if the Ukrainian government comes to the decision that the country needs to enter the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, it will be extremely easy to implement, Assistant Secretary of State said.
"You see, we believe that all countries of the Euro-Atlantic region, including Russia, have the right to discuss with NATO the prospects for closer cooperation with Ukraine, if its leadership takes the appropriate decision. Whether the country is ready to take on the responsibility associated with the membership of the alliance is another question. It is a very long process for Central European states, which requires significant changes," Assistant Secretary of State said.
At the same time Victoria Nuland said that NATO countries do not want to deprive Ukraine of the prospects of joining the Alliance, joinfo.ua writes.
"We have not discussed the prospects of joining NATO neither with the current Ukrainian government nor the people of Ukraine. For a long period of time, Ukrainians preferred to keep the status of a non-aligned country. We are not ready to close off the prospects of joining NATO to Ukraine, but if Ukraine takes this decision, it will be very difficult to realize," Nuland stated.
Also, Assistant Secretary of State touched the issue of USA providing Ukraine with military weapons.
"From the beginning of the conflict, we have provided assistance to Ukraine in amount of approximately $ 120 million. It refers only to defensive or non-lethal equipment, with the help of which the Ukrainian army could defend itself. Night vision devices, bulletproof vests, anti-radar installations. So far, the President did not authorized the assistance provided to the Ukrainian army in the form of military weapons, but there are counseling and training programs for staff and weapon modernization. It is connected not only with the fact that the Ukrainian army suffers losses during the conflict – the modernization of the army is necessary for Ukraine to become a modern, democratic and tenable country and to eradicate corruption in the armed services," she said.