Kiev says would like to join NATO, Berlin says not on agenda
Germany, despite pressuring Russia over Ukraine via Nord Stream 2, sees that including Kiev in NATO is not in the foreseeable future.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
The two parties discussed economic and energy support for Ukraine amid "security challenges", and Zelensky said without Ukraine, "it is impossible to create an effective security architecture in Europe."
"Therefore, at a time of unprecedented challenges, enhanced support from our partners is extremely important. Security support, economic support, energy support," he told a press briefing following the meeting.
He also told reporters he had discussed with Scholz the results of the latest talks between advisers to the heads of the Normandy format countries, as well as the preparation of a new meeting at this level, in addition to the prospects of a meeting at the level of heads of state.
"We expect that in the near future it will be possible to hold the following talks [advisers to the leaders of the Normandy Format countries] and agree on a summit of N4 leaders," he said.
The situation in Donbas was also on the table, according to the Ukrainian President, who said he discussed the latest steps in resolving said situation.
"In a short time, we managed to hold two rounds of negotiations between political advisers of the Normandy Four in Paris and Berlin," he further told the press briefing, emphasizing the role of Germany's new government and the Chancellor.
He claimed his country and Germany shared the vision of a peaceful approach to the settlement in Donbas.
No NATO for Ukraine
Zelensky stressed that his country would like to join NATO, asserting his belief that it would be a "security guarantee" for Ukraine and saying Kiev was counting on Berlin for entry.
"We count on the support of Ukraine's full membership in the EU. Such a step would be a powerful signal of the geopolitical choice of the Ukrainian people, recognized by our legislation and many countries of the world," he said at a joint press conference with the German chancellor.
Ukraine has been at the center of an issue between Russia and the West as the latter is pushing to add it to its alliance, which Moscow sees as an eastward expansion of NATO.
Russia has been demanding a written commitment that Ukraine would never be able to join NATO and that the alliance would not place any military equipment in certain countries in the region surrounding Russia.
Russia is facing US-European allegations of a military buildup on its shared borders with Ukraine, and the two sides had already held talks in Geneva to sort out their differences.
The West has responded to Russia's security demands, but Moscow has said several times the response was not enough and ignored its key demands.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Washington's response to key issues of Moscow's proposals on security guarantees was negative.
The proposals are related to European security and the answer to our concerns related to what Moscow sees as "an endless and very dangerous eastward expansion of NATO. Now at the expense of the former republics of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine," Putin said.