Kremlin warns of ‘decisive steps’ if Ukraine joins NATO

Ukraine's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) would be the worst-case scenario, it could force Russia to "take decisive steps" to ensure its own security, said the press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov in an interview for the documentary "Vladimir Putin: the master of the game" of TV channel France 5.

"Ukraine's membership in NATO would be the worst-case scenario. This is a scenario that goes beyond the "red lines" of Russia's national interests. This is the scenario that may force Russia to take decisive steps to ensure its own security," Peskov said, as quoted by Interfax.

The journalist of the TV channel also said that Europe often feels a "threat" from Russia, in particular this spring, when the Kremlin amassed troops near the Ukrainian borders. Peskov, in turn, said that Russia can "understand" such feelings, but it is necessary to be better "informed" about the situation. He noted that before it deployed troops to the western borders, large-scale NATO exercises took place. At the same time, many talk about the Russian military and no one mentions the build-up of NATO forces - no one, Peskov added.

In June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to NATO with a demand to immediately accept Ukraine to the alliance. According to him, Kyiv was ready for an action plan to prepare for membership. "If NATO really expects us and wants to see us in their ranks, then there is no need to look through binoculars, into some distant future and discuss it. The issue must be resolved immediately," he said. In April, the Ukrainian president also pointed out that NATO membership would be the only way to end the conflict in the Donbas.

In early October, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine would one day become a member of the alliance, but this would happen "not tomorrow." He also called erroneous the idea that the membership of Russia's neighbors in NATO is a provocation against Moscow.

Russia has repeatedly protested Ukraine's intentions to join the alliance. Peskov previously pointed out that NATO’s expansion into the territory of Ukraine goes beyond the "red lines" that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about.

  Kremlin, Peskov, NATO, Putin