NATO denies that the planned negotiations with Kyiv have been postponed, as announced on Radio Liberty, on February 2nd, by a spokesman of the alliance who wished to remain anonymous.
"There is no meeting with any country that was canceled. We will continue to exchange information, to consult and cooperate with our neighbors and partners as the need arises, on a gradual and phased approach. NATO recognizes and respects the interests of other countries regarding the NATO missile defense systems. We have discussed the issue of missile defense with our partners during recent years and continue cooperation on this issue now. The purpose of NATO is, as far as it is possible, to maintain transparency on missile defense, especially at a time when we are increasing our defense capabilities," he said.
The Acting Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO, Yehor Bozhok, also confirmed to Radio Liberty that there were no plans for consultations between Ukraine and NATO regarding the NATO missile defense system.
Previously, The Wall Street Journal, citing sources in NATO, reported that representatives of NATO postponed the planned talks with Kyiv due to the political sensitivity of attracting Ukraine to the negotiations on missile defense because of their fear of Russia’s overreaction.
It was also noted that some diplomats tend to believe that a cautious approach to discussing missile defense with Ukraine still makes sense if the Alliance wants to avoid further undermining of relations with Russia. But other allies fear that the alliance risks exactly that by showing its indecision in supporting a partner like Ukraine.