MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Ukraine has no chances of ever being admitted to NATO and President Vladimir Zelensky’s hope the alliance will agree to protect him, if he enters into a conflict with Russia is futile, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Vladimir Jabarov, told TASS in an interview.
"NATO admits only those countries which have no internal conflicts or conflicts with neighboring states. He [Zelensky] has both an internal conflict, the one in the southeast, and rifts with neighboring countries. He has quarreled with Belarus and is threatening us. May he give up this hope. He will never be in NATO," Jabarov said.
He invited Zelensky to give thought to how to retain power.
"If he thinks that NATO will agree to defend him, should he enter into a conflict with Russia, he is very wrong. May he give a call to [Georgia’s former president Mikhail] Saakashvili and ask him for advice. He will tell him how it happens," Jabarov said. He stressed that the sole way of settling the conflict in Donbass was through the implementation of the Minsk Accords.
"But the Ukrainian authorities have torpedoed all Minsk agreements. Apparently, they are not prepared for this," he added.
"I suspect that when he makes such statements, Mr. Zelensky has a very poor idea of the implications of NATO’s membership for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. If he really thinks that he will be allowed to take any liberties under NATO’ umbrella, he is very mistaken," Jabarov said, adding that Ukraine’s southeast would be firmly against this.
Zelensky in a telephone conversation with NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine’s membership of NATO was the only means of ending the war in Donbass. The Ukrainian presidential office quoted Zelensky as saying that NATO was the sole way of ending the war in Donbass, while the Membership Action Plan (MAP) would be a message to Russia.
NATO and Ukraine
The North Atlantic Alliance at the Bucharest summit in April 2008 adopted a political statement saying that Ukraine and Georgia would with time become NATO members, but refused to grant either country a membership action plan, which is the first step towards the legal procedure candidates for NATO’s membership are to accomplish. According to Brussels experts, both Kiev and Tbilisi over the past 12 years have delayed their admission prospects. NATO does not admit countries with unresolved territorial problems, because their membership may drag the whole alliance into a military conflict.
In February 2019, the Ukrainian parliament voted for amendments to the Constitution confirming the country’s intention to join NATO. Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic policy was declared irreversible. Under the 2015 military doctrine the Ukrainian army was to achieve full compatibility with the armies of NATO countries. Earlier, Ukraine was granted the status of NATO’s enhanced opportunities partner.