Kyiv Claims That Russia Will Have No Say Whether Ukraine Could Join NATO

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has insisted that Russia has no say in whether Ukraine could join NATO, a topic at the center of high-stakes talks between the West and Russia this week, AFP reported.

“Russia has no right to vote on the issue of Ukraine’s membership in NATO. This is a ‘red line’ that neither Ukraine nor our partners will cross,” Kuleba told RBC Ukraine.

“The collective West will not agree to provide Russia with” legal guarantees “for not expanding the alliance to the east, as this would be its strategic defeat,” he said.

Moscow has demanded comprehensive security guarantees from Washington and its NATO allies and has insisted it has been promised a Western military alliance not to expand eastward.

In December, Russia announced proposals to contain the United States and NATO in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, demanding that the US-led Western military alliance should not accept Ukraine or Georgia as new members or establish bases in former Soviet countries.

This week, Russia and the West launched a week of high-stakes diplomacy amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

After more than seven hours of talks in Geneva yesterday, Russian and US officials offered to resume talks, but there was no breakthrough.

The Kremlin said earlier today that the talks were a “positive” start to continuing the dialogue, but noted the lack of results.

A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will be held in Brussels tomorrow.

Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and supported pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people.

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