Kiev requests to speed up NATO membership
In light of the recent annexation of four Moscow-held Ukrainian regions, Zelensky is urging NATO to speed up the membership process.
Following Russia's ratification of four Ukrainian regions' accession to Russia, namely Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk, and Zaporozhye, Kiev has submitted a formal request to speed up its NATO membership process, according to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday.
"We have already proven our compatibility with (NATO) alliance standards," Zelensky said in a video posted by the Ukrainian presidency. "We are taking a decisive step by signing Ukraine's application for accelerated accession to NATO."
He added that "Ukraine will not hold any negotiations with Russia as long as Putin is the president of the Russian Federation. We will negotiate with the new president."
The remarks were delivered following a grand ceremony that was held at the Kremlin over the signing of treaties to incorporate the four former Ukrainian regions.
From September 23 to 27, referendums on joining Russia were held in the DPR and LPR, as well as in the Zaporozhye and Kherson areas. The voting question in the Zaporozhye and Kherson areas stated, "Are you in favor of the region leaving Ukraine, creating an independent state, and joining the Russian Federation?" The overwhelming majority of residents said yes to such questions, according to Russia.
The leaders of the incorporated regions claimed that the results of the referendums clearly indicated that residents were in favor of the process, despite that NATO members, its allies and other international bodies denied its legitimacy.
Earlier today, it was reported that the UN Security Council will vote on a resolution condemning the referenda on the accession of the four regions to Russia.
According to sources, the text "condemns the Russian Federation's organization of illegal so-called referenda" in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson, claiming that they "have no validity" and "cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of these regions," including "any purported annexation."
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has recently threatened Russia with new sanctions in the event of referenda after White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the US condemned the referenda to join Russia as "sham" actions and asserted that the US would not recognize the results.