Ryabkov ruled out Ukraine’s accession to NATO

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Ukraine will never become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance.

Commenting on the statements of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that the condition for Ukraine’s entry into the alliance is to win the conflict with Russia, Sergei Ryabkov pointed out that “it is excluded, such a thing will never happen”.

“I hope Mr Stoltenberg understands this,” the diplomat told TASS.

According to him, it was NATO leaders’ decision in 2008 that Ukraine would become a member of the alliance that was the “trigger” of the current crisis.

“If the NATO members are ready to keep walking on this rake and history does not teach them anything, then they will be hit on the forehead with the handle of this rake. And their bruises will get worse and worse,” Ryabkov said.

In response to the agency’s question whether this implies that Ukraine will never join NATO, the deputy foreign minister said: “I think this is excluded.

We shall remind you that earlier Russian President Vladimir Putin allowed the creation of a sanitary zone on the territory of Ukraine. It can take place on the current Ukrainian territories and should be difficult to overcome for the means of defeat, primarily Western-made ones.