Vladimir Putin warned on June 9 against the harmful consequences of Ukraine’s accession to the Atlantic Alliance. For the Russian president, the Ukrainians do not want “to be a bargaining chip and cannon fodder”.
During an interview broadcast on June 9 on Rossiya 1, the Russian president felt that the Ukrainian people did not want their country to join NATO. “The Ukrainian people do not want their country to join NATO. And they are smart people. I say this without any irony. It’s not because other people are stupid, but because they don’t want to do it, because they understand that they don’t want to be in the crosshairs. They do not want to be a bargaining chip and cannon fodder ”, declared the Russian president while his Ukrainian counterpart is impatient to see his country join the two clubs which are the European Union and NATO.
“Let’s imagine that Ukraine becomes a member of NATO. Flight time from Kharkov or Dnepropetrovsk to central Russia and Moscow would be reduced to 7 or 10 minutes
But for the Russian president, this keenness of Kiev contrasts with the feeling of the Ukrainians to belong to a “common civilization” with Russia: “These people seem to feel to be a part of our common civilization and do not want this part of this civilization opposes another […]. They are smart people ”.
“Let’s imagine that Ukraine becomes a member of NATO. Flight duration [des villes ukrainiennes] from Kharkov or Dnepropetrovsk to central Russia and to Moscow would be reduced to 7 or 10 minutes. Is this a red line for us or not? ”He argued, nevertheless arguing that there is currently no guarantee that Ukraine will join the Alliance.
The back-pedaling on June 7 from Kiev on the subject is a good example: while the Ukrainian presidency had initially affirmed that Washington supported Kiev’s plan to join NATO after a telephone interview between Biden and Zelensky, she quickly tempered her enthusiasm by correcting the press release a little later.
“The President of the United States also underlined his full support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration and the importance of providing the Ukrainian state with an action plan for NATO membership,” could one thus read in the report of the discussion on the official site of the Ukrainian presidency. Information that did not appear on the American side, however. According to the spokesperson for the National Security Council at Axios media, “the Ukrainians misinterpreted the statement and corrected the report”.
In the evening, the mention finally disappeared from the report which now only reports that “Volodymyr Zelenskyy underlined the importance of providing the Ukrainian state with an action plan for NATO membership”, without mentioning Joe Biden’s position on the subject.