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MFA says ‘Western handlers’ pull Ukraine into NATO

Maria Zakharova said NATO does not consider Ukraine a sovereign state

MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday said that decisions regarding Ukraine's entry into NATO are made by its "Western handlers."

The decision that Ukraine will aspire to join NATO "hasn’t been made sovereignly by that state," she said on Channel One. "All these statements are based on the playbooks that they have been receiving from their Western handlers for many years," she said.

Zakharova said NATO does not consider Ukraine a sovereign state.

"It’s not a sovereign state that declares it wants to join NATO and that it’s their sovereign right," she said. "It’s a result of some pressure, some lobbying or some downright control over this country, which only pretends to play a sovereign role, by other states."

Unlike Western countries, Russia has always treated Ukraine as an independent country, she said.

"Our country has treated Ukraine as a sovereign state for more than 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, despite our common past, despite our common present," Zakharova said.

In February 2019, the Ukrainian parliament voted for amendments to the Constitution asserting the country’s NATO aspirations as an "irreversible Euro-Atlantic course." The country’s new military doctrine, adopted in 2015, sets a task of achieving full compatibility of the Ukrainian armed forces with the NATO armies. Currently, Kiev has the status of NATO’s enhanced opportunities partner.