Ukraine is threatening to purchase nuclear weapons if it is not allowed to join NATO. Otherwise, the country sees no other way to defend itself against Russia, says the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin.
“How else can we guarantee our defence?”, Said Andri Melnyk at the radio station Deutschlandfunk.
“We are either part of an alliance like NATO and contribute to the strengthening of Europe, or we have only one option: arm ourselves,” said the ambassador. He pointed out the possibility of acquiring nuclear weapons.
Ukraine has been trying to join NATO for years, but talks about it have always been rejected. The country was once a significant nuclear power. Still, the former Soviet Republic gave up its nuclear arsenal in 1994 after security guarantees from the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have recently risen again, partly due to the build-up of large Russian troops on the Ukrainian border and in Crimea, a Ukrainian area annexed by Moscow in 2014. The Russian mobilization is taking place against the background of a resurgence of violence between the Ukrainian government army and the Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday about Eastern Ukraine. The three called on Russia to withdraw its troops on the border and in Crimea. The leader of Ukraine said he was willing to enter into talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin together with France and Germany.
Zelenski, who is in Paris, further said after the consultation that he had discussed with Macron the possible accession of Ukraine to NATO.