Zelensky to NATO states: ‘We are your forward position’
NATO has no obligation to come to the aid of Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion, but the alliance itself will be under threat if Ukrainian forces are overwhelmed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said after meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Dec. 16.
“As a civilized country, we don’t want to see a full-scale war, since that would lead to millions of casualties,” Zelensky said.
He added that even though the alliance is under no obligation to defend Ukraine, it will have to defend its own members, who would come under threat if the Ukrainian army is overwhelmed.
“Despite not being a member of NATO, we currently serve as your forward position,” the president said.
In early December Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said almost 100,000 Russian soldiers had massed next to Ukraine’s borders. According to him, these troops are on high alert, and it was possible Russia could invade.
Officials in the U.S. and Europe remain concerned about the tensions on the eastern border of Ukraine. The foreign ministers of the G7 countries issued a joint statement on Dec. 12 warning Russia about “serious consequences and a severe cost” if it invades Ukraine.
U.S. President Joe Biden “clearly indicated that the United States and its allies would respond to a military escalation with drastic economic sanctions and other measures,” during his talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Dec. 7, the White House has said.
According to President Zelensky, after his talks with Putin, Biden told him that Russia is unlikely to further escalate the current conflict.
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