- NATO in recent years has expanded further and further east to take in former Soviet countries
- Russia wants Ukraine not to join NATO. It sees alliance's enlargement as a threat
- NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance of 30 countries including the US
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday said that NATO is not prepared to accept Kyiv, according to a report by news agency AFP. Ukraine's demand for a NATO membership is a delicate issue that was one of Russia's reasons for attacking the neighbouring country.
Zelensky also said that NATO is "afraid of controversial things and confrontation with Russia", adding that he is open to 'compromise' on the status of two breakaway pro-Rusian territories -- Donetsk and Lugansk -- that Russian President Putin had recognised as independent last month.
"I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago after we understood that ... NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine," Zelensky said in an interview aired Monday night on ABC News. "The alliance is afraid of controversial things, and confrontation with Russia," the President added.
Referring to NATO membership, Zelensky said through an interpreter that he does not want to be President of a "country which is begging something on its knees."
NATO in recent years has expanded further and further east to take in former Soviet countries. This infuriated Russia which sees NATO enlargement as a threat.
Notably, Russia has been demanding from Ukraine not to join NATO -- an intergovernmental military alliance of 30 countries including the US. The alliance was set up at the start of the Cold War to promote peace and protect Europe from the Soviet Union.
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