Zelensky signals he doesn't expect Ukraine to join NATO anytime soon

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attendees applaud after Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed a meeting of the Joint Expeditionary Force in London on March 15, 2022.

(CNN)​​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dropped his clearest hint yet that he does not expect his country to join NATO anytime soon.

In comments made during an address by video-link to leaders of the British-led Joint Expeditionary Force on Tuesday, Zelensky appeared to shift further away from what until recently had been seen as a key Ukrainian ambition.
"For years we have been hearing about how the door is supposedly open (to NATO membership) but now we hear that we cannot enter. And it is true, and it must be acknowledged," he said.
    "I am glad that our people are beginning to understand this and rely on themselves and on our partners who assist us," he added.
      NATO, a security alliance of 30 North American and European nations, was created in 1949 in response to the start of the Cold War. Its original purpose was to protect the West from the threat posed by the Soviet Union.
      Since the end of the Cold War, many former Soviet satellite states have joined NATO, meaning