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February 04
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg once again expressed the alliance's commitment to Ukraine, assuring that "one day" the country will become a member of the organization.

"NATO’s door is open," Stoltenberg said. “Russia does not have a veto” on countries joining, he said in reference to the recent entry of North Macedonia and Montenegro into the security alliance. He said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will get Finland and Sweden as NATO members” soon. The Nordic neighbors applied for membership in April, concerned that Russia might target them next.

Some officials and analysts believe the move, which former U.S. President George W. Bush insisted was partly responsible for the war. Stoltenberg disagrees. “President Putin cannot deny sovereign nations to make their own sovereign decisions that are not a threat to Russia,” he said. “I think what he’s afraid of is democracy and freedom, and that’s the main challenge for him.”

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