NATO will pay for its weakness, Kiev says
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lashed out at the NATO alliance on Friday, berating the block for its refusal to establish a no-fly zone over the country amid the ongoing Russian offensive that hit Ukraine last week.
“NATO knowingly approved the decision not to close the skies over Ukraine. We believe that the NATO countries themselves have created a narrative that the alleged closing of the sky over Ukraine will provoke direct Russian aggression against NATO,” Zelensky said in a videotaped address, telling the US-led bloc that “people will die because of you” in the country.
He also berated a general lack of aid from the alliance, stating that it only managed to authorize a small fuel delivery for the country. While Ukraine has been recognized as a special “partner” of the alliance, NATO has repeatedly warned Kiev that it would not go into a war with Russia over Ukraine.
“All that the alliance could do today was to allocate some 50 tons of diesel fuel for Ukraine through its procurement system,” Zelensky said, issuing a new thinly-veiled nuclear threat.
“Probably, it’s for us so that we can burn the Budapest Memorandum. To make it burn better. But for us it has already burned down in the fire of the Russian troops,” he added, referring to the 1994 document, under which Kiev surrendered its nuclear arsenal inherited from the Soviet Union.
A similar statement was made by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, who said the ongoing conflict had exposed NATO’s “weakness.”
“Before the war, Ukrainian people believed that NATO was strong, while the EU was weak and indecisive. And after the war began, the people saw that the opposite was true,” Kuleba told the 1+1 TV channel.
This is a weakness which the alliance will, unfortunately, pay for in the future. And now Ukrainians will suffer thanks to it.
The top Ukrainian diplomat also claimed that the EU “gave us a candidate status and prospects of membership, while NATO could not decide on anything.” In reality, however, Ukraine has not been given a EU candidate status, as a country needs to meet various requirements before attaining it, with the EU Parliament only passing a non-binding resolution welcoming Kiev’s membership bid.