March 22, 2023

East Valley Times

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Zelensky’s Reaction to Putin’s Speech on Territorial Integration: Ukraine Will Formally Request “Accelerated Access to NATO”

KIEV.- President Volodymyr Zelensky announced this Friday Ukraine is going to sign an application for fast-track accession to NATOA few minutes later Russia will formalize the annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

“We took a decisive step by signing Ukraine’s candidacy for accelerated accession to NATO.”Zelensky said in a video posted on social media.

In his opinion, Ukraine has already shown, after several months of mutual cooperation, that it is fully compliant with the standards established by NATO for its expansion. “We are already practical partners”He pointed out. “In fact, we’ve already demonstrated compatibility with Alliance standards.”

The Ukrainian president made the announcement shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed it Annexation Treaties of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and ZaporizhiaFour military-occupied regions in eastern Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine also promised We cannot negotiate with Russia while Vladimir Putin is in powerShortly thereafter, the Russian president asked Ukraine to cease hostilities.

Ukraine will not negotiate with Russia as long as Putin is the head of the Russian Federation. We will hold talks with the new president,” he said.Zelensky said.

Before Russia sent its armed forces to Ukraine in February, Moscow demanded a legal guarantee that Ukraine would never be admitted to NATO. The organization forms a joint security system, in which Member States agreed to protect any members attacked by an external force. Russia is said to have used this as a pretext, among other things, for its so-called special military operation.

The The annexation of 15% of Ukrainian territory marks a turning point in the conflict and in recent post-Soviet history. In his address to the Russian political elite, Putin expressed himself, warning that the decision was irreversible and urging the Ukrainian military to lay down its arms and negotiate.

From left, pro-Russian governors Vladimir Zalto (Kherson), Yevgeny Politsky (Zhaporizia), Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donetsk governors Denis Pushilin and Luhansk governors Leonid Pashenik
Grigory Chisoyev – Pool Sputnik Kremlin

In a crowded room, Those gathered in the Kremlin chanted in unison, “Russia! Russia!”, After all four leaders accepted the agreement. Putin shook hands with them and cheered with the crowd on public television.

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AFP and DPA agencies