Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

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Ukrainian forces have “proceeded in a very precise and well-organized way so far” in the war, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, Scholz said he “never expected that everything would change from one day to the next,” but added the Ukrainian defense forces had been planning operations “in a very targeted way.”

Meanwhile, Ciolacu said Romania had expected the conflict to end with the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but has had to reckon with a longer conflict.

While Ukraine remains in a state of war, it cannot become a NATO member, Scholz said, adding that the criteria for NATO membership included “no open border conflicts.“

However, the important thing, he said, was NATO’s “great practical support for Ukraine,” which will continue.

Germany has “created the conditions to support Ukraine even for a long time if the war lasts for a long time,” he added, saying that many countries will be able to support Kyiv “for one, two, three, and if need be, more years, because we don’t know how long the military conflict will last.”

Some background: President Volodymyr Zelensky called Monday on US President Joe Biden to invite Ukraine into NATO “now” – even if membership does not come until after the war.

Speaking to CNN, Zelensky said Biden was “the decision maker” about whether Ukraine would be in NATO or not.

Ukraine’s aspiration to join is enshrined in its constitution and its relationship with NATO dates back to the early 1990s, according to the alliance. NATO is due to hold a summit in Lithuania on July 11 and 12 where leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine’s membership.


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