Moscow Warns Possible Expansion of NATO Infrastructure in Ukraine Would Violate Russia’s ‘Red Lines’
Earlier Monday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he and Putin had discussed the creeping expansion of NATO in Ukraine, and suggested that the Western alliance was creating new bases in the Eastern European nation under the guise of ‘training centres’. Russia and Belarus have agreed to jointly respond to the deployment of any NATO forces in Ukraine, Lukashenko warned.
In July, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of trying to form a “belt of instability around” Russia and to “surround us with a cordon sanitaire.” In separate remarks, Putin said that the estimated 50 percent or so of Ukrainians who don’t want the country to join the Western bloc were “smart people” who “do not want to find themselves on the firing line – who do not want to become political currency or cannon fodder.”
Commend @NATO partners' understanding of all the risks and challenges we face. NATO leaders confirmed that 🇺🇦 will become a member of the Alliance & the #MAP is an integral part of the membership process. 🇺🇦 deserves due appreciation of its role in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 14, 2021