Ukraine's Ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko assumed that the Ukrainian side could show "flexibility" and drop its intention to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance in order to avoid a new Russian invasion of its territory. He said this in an interview with the BBC, Reuters reports.
When asked again about the possibility of dropping the plan to become a NATO member, despite the fact that this is enshrined in the Constitution, Prystaiko repeated that Ukraine might do that.
"Yes, you are right, this is what is enshrined in our Constitution. I am now partially going against the main document that we have… If we have to go through some serious concessions, this is what we might do. Doubtlessly," the Ambassador added.
Oleg Nikolenko, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, clarified in a commentary to Radio Svoboda that Prystaiko's words were "taken out of context."
"Of course, for the sake of peace and the protection of the lives of our citizens, Ukraine is ready to enter into any format of dialogues with countries and international organizations. At the same time, Ambassador Prystaiko rightly pointed out in an interview that the prospect of NATO membership is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine, but Ukraine is not yet a member of NATO or any other security alliance. So the key issue for our country is the issue of security guarantees," he noted.
Nikolenko added that the best option would be the immediate admission of Ukraine to membership of the alliance. He also stressed that "no decision can be made contrary to the Constitution."
Context. Today, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but in 2008 the country was promised the opportunity to join the bloc. In 2019, the strategic course of the state towards membership in the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union was enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine. The Kremlin believes that the increasingly close ties between the military bloc and Ukraine pose a threat to Russia.
In the past few months, the Russian Federation has pulled in over 100,000 troops to the Ukrainian border and continues to build up their number. The American authorities and the leadership of NATO do not rule out that a new Russian attack on Ukraine may occur at any moment. Moscow denies all these statements. The Russian side assures that it is holding exercises, but requires written guarantees from the alliance of further non-expansion to the east. Member states officially rejected the Kremlin's demands.