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Ukrainian foreign minister says Kyiv’s entry into EU, NATO should not be seen as ‘charity’ or ‘payoff’

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Monday said Kyiv’s entry into the EU and NATO should not be seen as a “charity” or “payoff” but as something in the “best pragmatic interest of the European community.”

“The EU and NATO membership of Ukraine will guarantee long-term peace and stability. On the other hand, adding more ambiguity would be incredibly reckless. Half-baked solutions, like keeping Ukraine in the background or in the waiting room, would invariably result in new Russian aggression, which is not in Europe’s best interests,” Kuleba said during a speech at the Oxford-Ukraine Summit in the UK.

In his statement, Kuleba said it is not necessary to consider what Russia says because President Vladimir Putin is “done” and “laid out all of its cards on the desk,” noting that Ukraine must triumph despite this, to ensure that Moscow is not rewarded for “what it has done.”

Kuleba further noted that the security of Ukraine and wider Europe is “indivisible,” claiming that the reputation, credibility, and influence of NATO and the EU would have reached “an all-time low” if Kyiv lost in the initial days of the Russia-Ukraine war.

“There should be no mistake that an emboldened Moscow would look for new targets. Moldova, the Balkans, Central Europe, and the Baltic states. Putin was not going to stop in Ukraine. Thus, it is clear how fundamentally connected Ukraine’s security is to that of Europe,” Kuleba said.

He also noted that Ukraine’s partners are becoming “more and more aware” of this, which he said is reflected with their military support “unthinkable a little over a year ago.”

“A lot has been promised, but it must come as soon as possible to give Ukraine a decisive advantage. There should be no taboo about providing Ukraine with any types of weapons. Everything, including combat aviation, must be provided to Ukraine,” he added.

A day earlier, Kuleba said he did not expect that Kyiv will receive fighter jets “anytime soon” due to logistical and technical difficulties.

After securing the delivery of battle tanks in January, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked the West for fighter jets to defend its skies against Russian attacks, a request officially ruled out for now by countries such as the US and Germany.​​​​​​​

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