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Ukraine applies for NATO membership, rules out Putin talks

World Sep 30, 2022 06:25PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

By Tom Balmforth

KYIV (Reuters) -President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced a surprise bid for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance on Friday and ruled out talks with President Vladimir Putin, striking back at Moscow after it said it had annexed four Ukrainian regions.

Zelenskiy signed the NATO application papers in an online video clearly intended as a forceful rebuttal to the Kremlin after Putin held a ceremony in Moscow to proclaim the four partially occupied regions as annexed Russian land.

"We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine's application for accelerated accession to NATO," Zelenskiy said in the video on the Telegram app.

The video showed Zelenskiy in combat fatigues announcing the membership bid and signing a document flanked by his prime minister and the speaker of parliament.

The announcement was likely to touch a nerve in Moscow which casts the NATO bloc at home as a hostile military alliance bent on encroaching on Moscow's sphere of influence.

Before Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine in February, Moscow was demanding legally binding guarantees that Ukraine would never be admitted to the U.S.-led transatlantic defence alliance.

Kyiv and the West say Moscow used this as a pretext, among others, to launch a pre-planned military campaign against Ukraine. By applying for fast-track membership of NATO, Zelenskiy appears intent on showing Putin is failing in one of his main war goals - preventing Ukraine joining NATO.

NO TALKS WITH PUTIN

In his video speech, Zelenskiy accused Russia of rewriting history and redrawing borders "using murder, blackmail, mistreatment and lies," something he said Kyiv would not allow.

He said however that Kyiv remained committed to the idea of co-existence with Russia "on equal, honest, dignified and fair conditions".

"Clearly, with this Russian president (that) is impossible. He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia," Zelenskiy said.

Zelenskiy said that while Ukraine waits for consensus among NATO member states, it could be protected under draft security guarantees proposed by Kyiv and known as the Kyiv Security Compact, which Moscow has rejected as an idea.

"We understand that this requires the consensus of all the alliance's members… and therefore, while this is happening, we propose the realization of our proposals regarding security guarantees for Ukraine and all of Europe according to the Kyiv Security Compact," he said.

Ukraine applies for NATO membership, rules out Putin talks
 

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Comments (4)
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Oct 01, 2022 8:16AM ET
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Putin is a genius! Fearful of NATO countries on Russia's borders, his rash actions have now managed to make his paranoid fears come to fruition with the addition to NATO of Finland, Sweden and soon Ukraine. What a blundering buffoon.
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Sep 30, 2022 8:03PM ET
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Off course ukraine should be a member of NATO they have earned it, but we have to help them take back their territories before this can happen. We have already guarenteed that if russia attacks ukraine with nuclear weapons or biological weapons it will a catastrophy for russia, meaning they must then expect to get a nuclear rocket in putins head. I have no doubt that ukraine will kick out the russians of all ukraine land without NATO troops it is only a matter of time…Putin will huff and puff and treathen with nuclear but eventually the russian people will come to their senses and stop him before we come to nuclear war.
lakes Tenn
lakes Tenn Sep 30, 2022 7:42PM ET
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say goodbye to Ukraine
jason xx
jason xx Sep 30, 2022 4:13PM ET
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They should have done this from the start. They must be allowed in. Ukraine is the Nato front line. Lets fight already its cowardly to stand down and shameful for our nations.
 
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