Ukraine’s commitment to NATO membership is enshrined in the country’s constitution and it will not turn back, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Vadym Prystaiko announced on Feb. 14, clarifying previous remarks he made, reported the UK’s Sky News news channel.
Earlier, the BBC published comments from the ambassador suggesting his country might be willing to drop its ambition to join NATO to avert war.
“We are flexible trying to find the best way out,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“If we have to go through some serious – I don’t know – concessions, that is something we might do, that’s for sure.”
Sergii Nykyforov, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s spokesman, in turn told the Reuters news agency that Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO and the European Union are envisaged in its constitution and remain the absolute priority to the country.
“This course is not only reflected in the Constitution, but is also the full consent of the authorities and society,” Nykyforov said.
“Mr Ambassador used the word ‘flexibility.’ I think it’s worth giving him the opportunity to explain what exactly he had in mind.”
The Ukrainian foreign ministry also weighed in, with spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko saying the comments had been “taken out of context.”
The refusal to expand NATO to the east is one of Russia’s security demands, which has amassed about 140,000 troops and equipment on the border with Ukraine. Some North Americans and European countries believe that Moscow is preparing for a large-scale renewed invasion, which has already seen two of its territories occupied by Russian forces.