Illustration shows NATO, Swedish and Finnish flags


  • Polish President Andrzej Duda said he supports Ukraine's aspirations to join the alliance
  • Ukraine requested for a fast-track NATO membership in 2008
  • NATO declined the request at the time amid fears of inflaming tensions with Russia

Leaders from around the globe are voicing their support for Ukraine's hopes to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the future amid the nearly 12-month-long Russian invasion.

Speaking to Ukrainian journalists Wednesday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he is confident that Ukraine will join the alliance in the future, adding that he has already told his partners and allies that a discussion on Ukraine's membership "needs to be conducted."

"I agree with Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, who said that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. But we also have to focus on the situation today. For me, that means making sure that we have a plan to continue supporting Ukrainian security - not only immediately, but and in the long term," Sunak said, as reported by European Pravda and translated via Google Translate.

"These are the things we can work on right now, and we must work on strengthening Ukraine's security in the long term," he added.

Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, also shared the same sentiment in a joint statement posted Wednesday. "Ukraine's future lies in Europe. We firmly support Ukraine's Euro–Atlantic aspirations," Duda said.

The NATO alliance was formed in 1949 by 12 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Many Eastern European countries joined the alliance in 1991 following the Soviet Union's collapse.

Ukraine requested a "fast-track" membership to join the NATO alliance in 2008, but its request was declined amid fears that granting Kyiv membership would inflame tensions with Russia. In addition, Article 5 of the NATO charter states that all members of the alliance should come to the defense of one member if it is attacked.

This means NATO countries would have to go to war with Russia if Ukraine is made a member of the alliance.

Since Russia's invasion, several NATO countries have sent weapons to Ukraine to support its fight against Moscow's troops. The alliance last year also pledged to allow Ukraine to join the alliance one day. No specific date was given for when the membership could be granted.

The leaders' statements come just days before Russia's invasion of Ukraine is set to mark its one-year anniversary. In preparation, parts of Ukraine, including Kherson Oblast, will implement additional safety measures in anticipation of "possible escalation of hostilities by the enemy."

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg led calls to step up military support for Kyiv as the only way to counter Moscow