Russia claims NATO wants to ‘pull’ Ukraine into alliance

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is accusing NATO of attempting to “pull” Ukraine into the military alliance and questioning the organization’s stated mission.

“It turns out each time that the line they are supposed to defend is moving further east. Now, it has already come close to Ukraine. They want to also pull this country into there. Though it is clear to everyone that Ukraine is not ready and it won’t make any contribution whatsoever to the strengthening of NATO’s security,” Lavrov said on Russian television on Sunday, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Lavrov also reiterated that the Ukraine joining NATO would “undermine” Russia’s relations with alliance members and attacked the organization’s stated mission of being a defensive military alliance.

“Let them console themselves with saying that it is ‘defensive,'” he said. “It does not make things easier for us. The line of defense has already come close to us.”

Russia has demanded that NATO guarantee it will not expand any further eastward, claiming the organization’s proximity to its borders would threaten its national security. It has also requested an assurance that Ukraine will never be permitted to join the alliance.

Many NATO members have argued that there are no plans for Ukraine to join the alliance any time soon and that Russia’s demands are nonstarters

As fears of a Russian invasion into Ukraine continue to mount, Western leaders have moved to ready armed forces.

President Biden said on Friday that he will be sending U.S. troops to Eastern Europe in the “near term.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, said he has ordered armed forces to prepare for deployment this week.

“This package would send a clear message to the Kremlin — we will not tolerate their destabilising activity, and we will always stand with our NATO allies in the face of Russian hostility,” Johnson said in a statement.

Tags Boris Johnson Enlargement of NATO Joe Biden NATO Russia–NATO relations Sergey Lavrov Ukraine–NATO relations

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