Ukraine is formally applying for NATO membership through an “accelerated procedure,” announced President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on his Telegram channel on Friday, just hours after Russia’s illegal annexation of about four Ukrainian regions.
On the official social media account, Zelenskyy’s video announced, which was confirmed by the Defence Minister of Ukraine on Twitter, is a countermove after Putin signed documents to officially annex the four occupied territories of Ukraine of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia.
Zelenskyy mentioned in the statement, “De facto, we have already found our way into NATO. De facto, we have already proved that they are compatible with the alliance’s norms. We are already helping as well as protecting each other in practice.
“Today, war-torn Ukraine is making an application to formalise that as well. We are taking the decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO.”
The move is especially symbolic as one of the arguments for the starting of what Russia is still calling its “special military operation” in Ukraine in the month of February was NATO’s “expansionism” towards war-torn Ukraine, which posed a threat to Russian security, as per the authorities of Russia.
Along with this, Zelenskyy stated that war-torn Ukraine would liberate its entire territory on Friday, including the Crimea peninsula, which was also annexed by Russia in 2014 under a similar strategy of military occupation followed by force as well as an illegal referendum.
Furthermore, Zelenskyy added that he no longer wants to negotiate with Putin, “We have always taken a leading role in negotiations. However, it is clear that that is no longer possible with the current president; he does not know what dignity and honesty are. We are open to dialogue with Russia, but with a different president.”