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Either NATO or Ukraine must go – Medvedev

The proclamation that Kiev’s movement towards membership is “irreversible” demands a response, the ex-Russian president has said

NATO’s declaration that Ukraine’s eventual membership of the US-led military bloc is “irreversible” means that either the nation or the alliance – and preferably both – should disappear, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has said.

A joint statement adopted by the leaders of NATO states during a summit in Washington, DC this week expressed support for Ukraine’s “right to choose its own security arrangements,” and declared that it is on an “irreversible path to full Euro-Atlantic integration, including NATO membership.”

Russia has consistently said that Ukraine’s accession to NATO would cross a ‘red line’. It cited the expansion of the bloc in Europe as one of the key triggers of the current hostilities with Kiev.

“The conclusion is obvious. We have to do everything to make sure that the ‘irreversible path of Ukraine’ towards NATO ends with either the disappearance of Ukraine, or the disappearance of NATO. Better, both,” Medvedev said on Thursday.

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US troops participate in a NATO exercise near Stockholm, Sweden on June 11, 2024.
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The wording of the joint statement, according to media reports, was intended to appease Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky, who has claimed that his nation deserves to be fast-tracked into NATO in gratitude for fighting to supposedly “defend” the West from Russia. But member states, including the US, have made it clear that Ukraine will not be able to join them as a full participant while the conflict remains unresolved.

Kiev has signed numerous bilateral security agreements with Western nations in recent months in lieu of guarantees provided for under the NATO Treaty. The most recent pact was finalized with Luxembourg this week.

Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, previously called for caution in the event that Kiev made a U-turn and accepted Russia’s conditions for a negotiated peace.

He argued that such a deal, which would include Kiev’s renunciation of its NATO aspirations, could lead to a new coup in Ukraine and an even more radical government eventually seizing power.

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In that scenario, he said, hostilities would resume and Ukraine’s statehood would be lost for good. But “the enemies of Russia will not go anywhere” and will “gather strength for a new attempt to destroy our country,” Medvedev predicted.

July 11, 2024 at 02:22PM

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