The Kremlin claimed on Friday that if Ukraine joined NATO, it would lead to issues for years to come. He claimed that many EU countries understood this, despite the fact that the US ultimately controlled the military alliance.
On Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy argued strongly in favor of Ukraine joining the NATO military alliance and encouraged the organization to offer security guarantees in the event that membership was not currently possible.
Asked about Ukraine’s aspirations to join the alliance, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We regret to state that this indicates the unpreparedness, the unwillingness and the incapacity of the Kyiv regime to resolve existing problems at the negotiating table.”
“Ukraine’s membership in NATO, of course, is one of the main irritants and would be a potential problem for many, many years,” Peskov said.
“Many EU countries, oddly enough, are well aware of this. But, unfortunately, Washington orders and pays for the tunes in NATO. The EU is simply an obedient instrument in this orchestra.”
NATO leaders agreed at a summit in Bucharest in 2008 that Ukraine and Georgia would one day become members of NATO. So far, however, no concrete steps or timetable has been published that would actually bring Ukraine closer to NATO.
“The Russian Federation… will ensure its interests and its security,” Peskov said. “This excludes the expansion of NATO and its direct approach to our borders.”
The Kremlin has long seen NATO’s expansion into eastern Europe as evidence of Western hostility to Russia and has cited it as a key reason for its decision to send tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, unleashing the biggest conflict Europe has seen since the end of World War Two.
NATO, which now numbers 31 member states following Finland’s accession this year, says it is a purely defensive alliance that poses no threat to Russia.