LONDON, April 8. /TASS/. Russia’s special operation in Ukraine is aimed at preventing Ukraine from joining NATO, because this can provoke a war of nuclear states, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sky News on Thursday.
"This whole story is about future. It’s about guaranteeing our future. Just imagine a situation when a member of NATO - Ukraine - thinking about returning Crimea, attacks Russia. It attacks Russian Crimea and is using Article 5 of the NATO Charter. NATO countries, possessing nukes, will have to defend Ukraine. It should be a third world war. And what is being done is to save us from any potential threat of such a war," he said.
When asked whether Russia viewed Finland or Sweden’s membership in NATo as an "existential threat," Peskov gave a negative answer. He also denied that those words can be used to describe Western sanctions against Russia.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an early morning televised address that he had launched a special military operation in Ukraine in response to a request for help from the leaders of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no intention of occupying Ukrainian territories, the sole purpose of the operation, the leader stressed, is the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.
The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and some other countries responded by imposing sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.