Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said his country must be allowed to join Nato as he warned that Russia’s military build-up on its borders “threatens the entire democratic order”.
He made the comments amid growing international concern at Russian troop concentrations near the border.
Zelenskiy said: “It is only Ukraine’s accession to Nato that can guarantee security and peace in the long run.
“This is pressure on Europe and the West as a whole. It is a test of the strength of our ties and the weight of the words and decisions of Western nations,” he added.
He backed US President Joe Biden’s offer to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in a neutral European venue this summer. The conflict was triggered by the Ukrainian Revolution in 2014 – when an uprising overthrew the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.
Putin’s forces reacted by annexing the region of Crimea from Ukraine.
Pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine then took up arms against the state and, with Russian backing, formed the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Meanwhile, Russia has detained a Ukrainian diplomat for allegedly receiving classified information.
Alexander Sosonyuk, Ukraine’s consul in St Petersburg, was allegedly taken into custody while meeting a Russian.
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