Biden told CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria that he considers it premature to add Ukraine to the alliance, and that there is disagreement on the issue among the other NATO member countries.
“I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war,” Biden said in the CNN interview.
“For example, if you did that, then, you know – and I mean what I say – we’re determined to commit every inch of territory that is NATO territory. It’s a commitment that we’ve all made no matter what. If the war is going on, then we’re all in war. We’re at war with Russia, if that were the case,” the president said.
This comes just as Biden departed on a week-long trip to Europe, and will attend the 2023 NATO Vilnius Summit, at which NATO leaders will discuss several key issues facing the alliance including an increase in ally defence investment and Ukraine’s potential NATO membership.
“I think we have to lay out a rational path for Ukraine to be able to qualify to be able to get into NATO,” Biden said. “But I think it’s premature to say, to call for a vote, you know, in now, because there’s other qualifications that need to be met, including democratization and some of those issues.”
Despite Biden saying that he believes there is not unanimity on Ukraine joining NATO, the Vilnius Summit website states that “All Allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.”
The expansion of NATO to include countries closer to Russian borders has been the source of controversy and Russian anxiety for decades.
On Friday, the Maine Wire reported on the White House announcing its plan to send cluster bombs to Ukraine, a munition that has been banned by over 100 countries.
In Friday’s press briefing White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told the media that Ukraine provided “written assurances” that it will use the U.S.-provided cluster bombs “in a very careful way that is aimed at minimizing any risks to civilians.”
In 2022, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Russia using cluster bombs would “potentially be a war crime.”