Ukrainian diplomat retracts statement to abandon NATO plans
Ukrainian Ambassador to Britain Vadim Prystaiko has indicated that Ukraine may withdraw from the idea of joining NATO to prevent a possible war with Russia, which he later retracted.
The Ukrainian Ambassador to Britain, Vadim Prystaiko, said that Ukraine may abandon the idea of joining NATO to prevent a war with Russia.
In response to a journalist's question about the possibility of Ukraine giving up its plans to join NATO to bring peace to Europe, Prystaiko told BBC-5 radio, "We might - especially being threatened like that, blackmailed by that, and pushed to it."
He said Ukraine was willing to be "flexible" over its goal to join the Atlantic military alliance, a move Russian President Vladimir Putin has said would be a trigger for war.
However, the ambassador returned and clarified his previous statements, saying that Ukraine would not reconsider its efforts to join the military alliance.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but it has been promised since 2008 that it will be granted the opportunity to join, bringing the US-led alliance closer to Russia's border.
Putin claims that Ukraine's developing links with NATO might lead to it being used as a launchpad for NATO missiles aimed at Russia. To avoid this, he claims Russia must establish "red lines".
Britain supports Ukraine's will
In turn, James Heappey, Secretary of State at the British Ministry of Defense, said today, Monday, that Britain would support any decision taken by Ukraine regarding its efforts to join NATO.
For his part, a spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the efforts to join NATO and the European Union are stipulated in the country's constitution and will remain an absolute priority.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia will not create pretexts for the conflict over Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova accused Washington of continuing to spread lies about Ukraine, explaining that US politicians continue to lie and create pretexts to attack civilians around the world.
Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel, "The world knows constantly lies. As for those who have forgotten how Washington creates pretexts for every attack, they should review US Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003."