Ukraine’s president Vlodymyr Zelensky has applied for fast-track application of his country to Nato, after Russia’s illegal annexation of four regions.
The head of state issued a statement after a meeting with Kyiv’s national security and defence councils.
This comes after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of eastern-Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia following four ‘referendums’, which were widely declared as illegal and a sham.
According to a video shared by journalist Christopher Miller, Zelensky said: “today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure… We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO.”
In a release after the meeting of the defence and security council, Ukraine’s leader said: “The measures that must be taken to ensure the collective security of the Euro-Atlantic space and Ukraine were discussed.”
“In particular, this is the strengthening and expansion of the international coalition in support of Ukraine, the increase of military and technical aid to our country, the strengthening of sanction pressure on Russia, the implementation of proposals to guarantee security in the international arena, the activation of the strategy of nuclear deterrence of Russia by the countries of the Euro-Atlantic space, as well as countering hybrid threats caused by the aggressor country.
Russia has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend the annexed territory, which it now considers part of its country.
British former envoy to Russia urged the West to take it seriously this morning after Putin’s address, while US Senator Lindsey Graham said: “A nuclear attack on Ukraine will be considered an attack on NATO”, even though Ukraine is not yet part of Nato.