President Zelensky: Ukraine does not beg to join NATO

President Zelensky said that NATO is afraid of confrontation with Russia and Ukraine does not want to “beg on its knees” in an effort to join this military alliance.

In an interview with ABC News On the evening of March 7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was asked if he would be ready to give up efforts to join NATO at some point.

“I became less interested in this issue after realizing that NATO was not ready to accept Ukraine,” replied President Zelensky. “The alliance is afraid of controversial things and afraid of confrontation with Russia.”

Referring to NATO membership, Zelensky said he doesn’t want to be the president of a country who has to beg someone else. “I never wanted Ukraine to be a country to beg for something on its knees. And we are not going to be that,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the presidential office on March 7.  Photo: AFP.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the presidential office on March 7. Photo: AFP.

Russia has long viewed NATO’s eastward expansion as a security threat and views neighboring Ukraine’s entry into the alliance as a red line. Ukraine has repeatedly expressed its desire to join NATO, even including the goal of becoming a member of this bloc in the revised constitution in 2019.

Shortly before launching a special military operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Lugansk. Putin also wants Ukraine to recognize these two regions.

When asked by ABC News about this Russian request, President Zelensky said that Kiev would not accept ultimatums from Moscow or “surrender”, but confirmed he was ready to negotiate directly with President Putin.

“I’m talking about security guarantees,” the Ukrainian president said. “Apart from Russia, no one has recognized these so-called republics. But we can discuss and find compromise solutions on those territories. What is important to me are the people there. people who want to be a part of Ukraine and people in Ukraine want them too.”

“So it’s not just a matter of recognition,” Zelensky stressed. “What needs to be done is for President Putin to start a dialogue.”

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, with the goal of “de-militarizing and de-fascistizing” the Ukrainian government. On March 7, the Kremlin said the military operation in Ukraine would end immediately if Ukraine stopped military actions, changed the constitution to ensure neutrality, recognized Crimea as part of Russia, and recognized it. independence for the “republics of Donetsk and Lugansk” in the east.

Huyen Le (According to RT, AFP)

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