Don’t see Ukraine joining NATO: German foreign minister

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said that he does not envisage Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), according to reports Sunday.

“For me, Ukraine’s membership in the North Atlantic Alliance cannot be on the agenda. Anyway, I cannot see Ukraine on the way towards NATO,” Steinmeier said in an interview with the ZDF television channel.

NATO, also known as the North Atlantic Alliance is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed April 4, 1949. The organisation constitutes a system, whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.

The German foreign minister said that the situation in Ukraine leaves much to be desired and further escalation of conflict remains possible.

“We are in the centre of a dangerous conflict,” the minister said.

He felt that it would thus be necessary to know on which questions one should rather “not add fuel to the fire”.

Steinmeier noted that the disputes between Russia and the West regarding the situation in Ukraine were of “major” proportions and could not be settled in the short-term.

“I keep saying, it may take only 14 days to provoke a conflict, but it may take 14 years to settle it,” he noted.