Ukraine reacts to former regions joining Russia — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union


kyiv seeks ‘fast track’ admission to NATO, but bloc leader insists he is not a party to the conflict

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Friday signed an application for NATO membership and demanded an accelerated admission procedure. While pledging the bloc’s support in Kyiv, General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg reiterated that joining would require the consensus of all 30 members, suggesting that was a tall order at the moment.

In a video address, Zelensky said that Ukraine was already a “de facto NATO ally” and said he was asking to make it official, calling the application form signing ceremony a “decisive step”.

“We trust each other, we help each other and we protect each other” the AP quoted him as saying.

Although NATO has announced a “unprecedented” Stoltenberg’s speech after Zelensky’s video, when the bloc’s general secretary did appear before reporters, he didn’t seem to offer anything new.

“NATO is not a party to the conflict, but we are providing support to Ukraine so that it can enforce its right to self-defence enshrined in the UN charter”, said Stoltenberg. “Ours is a defensive alliance. We are united and determined to defend and protect every NATO ally and every inch of Allied territory.


When asked if NATO was willing to accept Ukraine’s candidacy, Stoltenberg replied that “every democracy in Europe has the right to apply” but to be accepted would require the consensus of all 30 members.

“Our goal now is to provide immediate support to Ukraine,” he added.

Stoltenberg also repeated the rejection of the Russian proposal “illegal annexation” from Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

“If Russia stops fighting, there will be peace, if Ukraine stops fighting, it will cease to exist as an independent sovereign nation in Europe”, he added, using a variation of a discussion topic recently adopted by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Zelensky’s wife.

Call Kyiv a “victim of assault” Stoltenberg said the block must work for “to assure [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin does not win, because anything else would tell the world that “Authoritarian countries like Russia can use force” to achieve their goals.

Taking only four questions from the press, Stoltenberg concluded by repeating, “NATO is not a party to the conflict, we support Ukraine but that does not make us a party to the conflict.”


RT

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