Moscow warns against Ukraine’s NATO membership

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Kiev’s possible accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) will escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region and cause “irreversible consequences”.

At a weekly briefing on Friday, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova criticised Kiev’s stance on a possible military solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, reports Xinhua news agency.

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The Ukrainian authorities are massing troops and weaponry as well as calling up military reservists, she said.

A damaged deserted factory is seen near the train station in Donetsk, east Ukraine. (Photo: Xinhua/Dai Tianfang/IANS)

Zakharova also pointed to the unfolding “hysteria” of Ukrainian media where Russia is portrayed as a threat.

“We call on the Kiev authorities to adopt a responsible approach and finally start fulfilling their obligations under the Minsk package of measures (on Donbas settlement),” she said, reiterating that this would lead to peace in Ukraine and directly in Donbas.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Donbas, which comprises the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, on Thursday to assess the situation on the ground amid escalating tensions in the region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Xinhua/Gao Jing/IANS)

“#NATO firmly supports #Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity. We remain committed to our close partnership,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted on Tuesday after a phone conversation with Zelensky.

“@NATO is the only way to end the war in #Donbass. Ukraine’s MAP (Membership Action Plan) will be a real signal for #Russia,” Zelensky then wrote on Twitter.

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