Russia describes move that would start World War III

Ukraine’s NATO membership would lead to World War III, a Russian official warned on Thursday.

“Kyiv is well aware that such a move would mean a guaranteed escalation into World War III,” Alexander Venediktov, deputy secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, said in an interview with Russian news agency Tass.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the Bundestag via live video from the besieged city of Kyiv on March 17, 2022. He called for fast-tracking Ukraine’s NATO bid by the end of September.

His remarks come after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for fast-tracking Ukraine’s NATO bid in late September, just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin had annexed four regions of Ukraine. .

Venediktov accused Ukraine of “seeking to create informational noise” in an attempt to draw attention to itself.

The official also said he was certain, given Kyiv’s “disengagement from reality”, that some expect Ukraine to be accepted as a NATO member.

Ukraine’s demand for accelerated NATO entry is “more of a propaganda maneuver”, Venediktov said. He also repeated the Kremlin’s rhetoric that Western countries, by helping Ukraine in the war, “are a direct party to the conflict.”

NATO is unlikely to accept Ukraine’s entry into the alliance while it is in a state of war, as membership would require other member countries to militarily defend Ukraine against Russia and could start a global conflict.

Joining NATO requires the unanimous approval of all 30 member countries.

“The suicidal nature of this approach [to admit Ukraine to NATO] is understood by NATO members themselves,” Venediktov said.

He noted that “Kyiv’s request was immediately supported by Eastern Europeans, including the Balts.”

“But the most serious powers, and even Brussels itself, reacted to this initiative without enthusiasm and immediately issued a standard set of counter-arguments – non-compliance with the standards of the bloc, existence of territorial disputes, etc.” , continued the manager.

He concluded by saying that Russia’s position on the issue remains unchanged and that Ukraine’s membership in NATO “or other alliances formed under the auspices of the United States” would be “unacceptable”.

Zelensky’s decision to formally seek “accelerated membership” to join NATO came after Putin formally annexed four Ukrainian regions following referendums considered by the international community to be illegitimate.

“We trust each other, we help each other and we protect each other. That’s what the Alliance is. De facto. Today Ukraine is asking to make it de jure,” Zelensky said during a video address at the time.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance’s “focus” is now “to provide immediate support to Ukraine, to help Ukraine defend itself against the brutal Russian invasion “.

Newsweek contacted the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and NATO for comments.