MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Should Kiev reject NATO membership, this would allow many European countries to breathe a sigh of relief, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday commenting on the remarks by Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko that Kiev could drop its bid on joining the NATO bloc if this move helps avert a war with Russia.
"I’m convinced that if it happened, many would breathe a sigh of relief, especially in Europe, those who take the signatures under the OSCE documents seriously, and don’t attempt to hide behind them under a covert policy to split Europe, and draw new dividing lines," the foreign minister said.
According to Lavrov, there are many politicians and political analysts in Ukraine who share these views and do not hesitate to express them.
Furthermore, the top diplomat emphasized that following the relevant statement by Ukrainian Ambassador to London Vadim Prystaiko, Junior British Defense Minister James Heappey stressed that London would support Ukraine if it decided not to become a NATO member. "So, I think, this idea is gradually going to make its way forward. And I’d stress once again that this points to what many, especially in Europe, want," Russia’s diplomacy chief concluded.
The West and Kiev have recently been echoing allegations about Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these claims as "empty and unfounded", serving as a ploy to escalate tensions, pointing out that Russia did not pose any threat whatsoever to anyone. However, Peskov did not rule out the possibility of provocations aimed at justifying such claims and warned that attempts to use military force to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine would have serious consequences.