Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that Ukraine is making an “accelerated” bid to join NATO.
The announcement comes on the same day Russia annexed four Ukrainian territories after a series of referendums that most western governments have labeled a “sham.”
“We are taking a decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” Zelensky said on his Telegram channel.
“De facto, we have already proven compatibility with alliance standards. They are real for Ukraine — real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction,” Zelensky said. “We trust each other, we help each other, and we protect each other. This is the alliance.”