Oct 19, 2021
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defence Minister Andriy Taran visit a pantheon commemorating fallen defenders of Ukraine prior to their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb GaranichRead Less
KYIV, Oct 19 (Reuters) – No third country has a veto on Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO, U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin told a briefing on a visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, when asked about Russian objections to Ukraine’s entry into the military alliance.
Austin said “no third country has a veto over NATO’s membership decisions. Ukraine, as you heard me say earlier, has a right to decide its own future foreign policy and we expect that they will be able to do that without any outside interference.”
Austin also said that Russia started the conflict in eastern Ukraine and was an obstacle to its peaceful resolution.Reporting by Matthias Williams and Pavel Polityuk, Editing by Louise Heavens