PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, December 25. /TASS/. The idea of Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership is dangerous not only for the Ukrainian people, because it has no unity on this matter, but also for entire European security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday in a show on the Rossiya 1 TV channel.
“I wonder why our commentators start to say: well, yes, they’ve passed this law, abandoned the nonaligned status, said they would join NATO, but it will take them at least 6 years to just draw up an application and prepare the state, system, law enforcement system and military organizations for submitting this application. In other words, their logic is that it [Ukraine] will join [NATO], but not very soon. This angle of the situation analysis is absolutely wrong,” Lavrov said.
“One should take a cautious attitude to provocations of this kind, I cannot call them otherwise. Some Western countries want the Ukrainian crisis to continue, want to foment confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, including by playing along these provocative aspirations concerning NATO membership,” the minister said.
Lavrov reminded about the security principle saying "nobody shall ensure its security by infringing on security of others, nobody shall change the dividing lines, inherited from the ‘cold war’ period". He noted that such dividing lines still exist despite the OSCE effort to erase them.
On December 23, Ukraine’s parliament voted to renounce the country’s non-aligned status in a move that paves the way for Kiev’s NATO membership bid. The law, proposed by President Petro Poroshenko, was backed by 303 lawmakers, 77 more than the minimum required. The lawmakers considered a total of four similar bills.
All of these bills envisage abandonment of the non-bloc status and return towards NATO rapprochement.
Commenting on the law, Russian permanent representative to the OSCE Andrey Kelin said Ukraine doesn't correspond to criteria for joining NATO either in economic or in political terms.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in late November that Kiev’s abandonment of the current non-bloc status meant a course towards solving the conflict in south-eastern Ukraine by force and struggle against Russia.
Kiev started building ties with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ukraine was one of the first former Soviet states which joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program in 1994.