Amid escalation of war in Ukraine, Russia in an interview with state-run TASS news agency on Thursday said that its former Soviet neighbour’s entry to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will lead to a third world war.
Calling Ukraine’s application for a fast-track NATO membership “rather a propaganda move”, Russian security council deputy secretary Alexander Venediktov said that Kyiv is “well aware” that such a step would mean a “guaranteed escalation to World War III”, TASS reported.
“Apparently, that’s what they are counting on – to create informational noise and draw attention to themselves once again,” Venediktov added.
The official reiterated Russia’s stand that by helping Ukraine, the West, is showing that they are a “direct party to the conflict”.
Venediktov said that NATO members themselves understand the “suicidal nature” of the step – admitting Ukraine to its wing.
“In any case, Russia’s position remains unchanged: Ukraine’s accession to NATO or some other alliances formed under the auspices of the United States is unacceptable for us,” he further stated.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a bid for fast-track NATO membership at the end of September, soon after his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a ceremony to annex four regions of the strife-torn east European country.
Venediktov’s statement comes hours after Ukraine’s capital – Kyiv – region was hit by Iranian-made kamikaze drones early Thursday morning, triggering rescue workers to rush to the scene. The attacks come close on the heels of fresh Russian shelling in the recent weeks that have resulted in several casualties across Ukraine.
Furthermore, US President Joe Biden on Monday promised to give advanced air defense systems to Ukraine after Russian missile attacks in Kyiv and other cities.
This latest development comes after 143 nations of the 193-member United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted in favour of a resolution condemning the annexation of four Ukrainian regions by Russia. India was among 35 nations that abstained from the vote.