“Ukraine’s Baltic friends fully support welcoming Ukraine into NATO as soon as possible.
Ukraine’s inspirational bravery can only strengthen our alliance,” the foreign ministers of all three countries tweeted late Friday.
The Baltic EU countries have been among Ukraine’s loudest supporters.
They border Russia and have long seen their neighbour as a major security threat.
But Zelensky’s announcement was met with caution from Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels.
Western powers have been funnelling weapons, military equipment and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as it does battle with Russian forces.
“Right now, our view is that the best way for us to support Ukraine is through practical, on-the-ground support in Ukraine, and that the process in Brussels should be taken up at a different time,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.
Echoing the White House, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Our focus now is on providing immediate support to Ukraine, to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian brutal invasion.
As the terms of NATO’s founding treaty consider an attack on one NATO ally an attack on all members, it is viewed as unlikely that the alliance would allow a country at war to join.