Ukraine Ready For Any Scenario With Russia And Calls On NATO Not To Reduce Everything To Reforms In Context Of Russian Aggression – Zelenskyy
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy states that Ukraine is ready for any development of events with Russia and calls on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) not to reduce all the country’s efforts in the context of Russian aggression solely to reforms.
He said this in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Ukrainian News Agency reports.
“There can be no fear now, because any attempt to expand aggression against Ukraine will mean a blow to the security of the whole Europe. Every country on the continent will feel this. We are ready for any scenario – nevertheless, keep in mind that the war against us has been going on since 2014,” he answered the question of whether Ukraine is afraid of the invasion of Russian troops in the east.
He recalled that over the past three months, Ukraine has lost about 30 military personnel and civilians of Donbas are perishing, and on the eastern border and in the annexed Crimea, Russia has deployed about 80,000 military personnel, to which another 30,000 pro-Russian militants and official Russian military personnel in Donbas should be added.
“It is definitely not in the interests of Europe that such a military potential could be used for its intended purpose, as Moscow wants. Expansion of the war can only bring new suffering and problems to everyone, and no one will benefit from it,” he said.
When asked if Ukraine is ready to defend itself if Russia goes on the attack, Zelenskyy answered in the affirmative, but noted that the state is doing everything to intensify negotiations and find a peaceful solution.
“We are always ready to return to a meaningful diplomatic conversation, we call on Russia to do the same … Now the priority protection is to do everything to prevent the expansion of aggression. And in this Ukraine needs the most effective support of all,” he said.
Zelenskyy was also asked why NATO should intervene in the current situation, if it did not do it in 2014 with Crimea.
“There have been many moments in the history of mankind when it was necessary to act decisively to prevent a tragedy. The capture of Crimea changed a lot in the life of Europe – even if not all Europeans realize what changes have taken place. The occupied Crimea has become a source of danger for the entire Black Sea region. Until 2014, there were no political repressions or religious persecutions in Crimea, there were no large-scale environmental disasters, there was no threat of the deployment of nuclear weapons. All of this is now there due to the Russian occupation. Moreover, Moscow’s behavior may inspire other countries to take part of the territories from their neighbors,” he replied.
He called the provision of an action plan for NATO membership to Ukraine an opportunity to return to peace.
“Our Armed Forces are holding back the united aggression in Europe, we have stood for more than seven years and are constantly improving. This is definitely not a secret for those of our NATO friends who come to Ukraine, participate in joint exercises with our military, conduct trainings. We understand that Ukraine must meet NATO standards, and we are carrying out the necessary reforms. However, everything cannot be reduced to only reforms, and especially now, when clearly not reforms are able to prevent the expansion of Russian aggression,” he said.
As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, Zelenskyy expects his visit to France on Friday to approach Ukraine’s receipt of a membership plan in the European Union and NATO.
© 2021 UNA