"We promised both Georgia and Ukraine seats at the NATO table in 2008, and it's time we set out an action plan to realize our promise. If necessary, we can do this with a proviso stating that NATO's Article 5 only covers the territory under the control of Kyiv and Tbilisi, but NATO cannot have an open-door policy on enlargement in which it continues to allow Putin to act as the doorman," he said.
Rasmussen also recalled that Russia signed up to the OSCE Charter for European Security in 1999, which grants "the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve."
"Ukrainians are a battle-hardened people willing to fight for the freedom that much of Europe has taken for granted, and we in the free world should be under no illusion that they fight for our freedom too. History tells us that aggressors tend not to stay in their own neighborhoods," he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call with U.S. President Joseph Biden on January 2 thanked the United States for its readiness to respond decisively in the event of Russia's further aggression against Ukraine.