The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said today that “the only way” to end the war in Eastern Ukraine is through the country’s accession to NATO, arguing that it would send a “real signal to Russia”.
“NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass”, reads a message posted on the Ukrainian President’s official account on the social network Twitter, after a telephone conversation with the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO), Jens Stoltenberg.
Volodymyr Zelensky said the Ukrainian government “is committed to reforming” the army and the “defense sector”, but added that “the reforms alone will not stop Russia”.
“The Accession Action Plan for Ukraine [to NATO] will be a real signal for Russia,” said the Ukrainian head of state.
Stoltenberg, also via the social network Twitter, said he had called Zelensky to convey his “serious concerns about Russia’s military activities in and around Ukraine” as well as “the ongoing ceasefire violations”.
“NATO strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We remain committed to our close partnership,” says Stoltenberg.
The phone call between the two officials comes at a time when, in recent days, Ukrainian, American, and European authorities have expressed concern about the arrival of thousands of Russian soldiers and equipment at the Russian-Ukrainian border.
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, promised Kyiv “unwavering” support in the face of “aggressions from Russia”.
The high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, pledged “indefectible” EU support for Kyiv and expressed “great concern” about Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine.
For its part, the Kremlin said that “Russia did not threaten anyone” and attributed the worsening situation to the “repeated provocations” of the Ukrainian army.
The Russian army on Friday announced military maneuvers designed to simulate defense against a drone attack in a region near Ukraine.
Frontier clashes between Ukraine and Russia have been on the rise since January, after a truce during the second half of 2020.
This war, which claimed more than 13,000 deaths, started in 2014 after a pro-Western revolution in Kyiv that was followed by the annexation of Crimea by Moscow.
Source: with Agencies