Ukraine’s potential accession to NATO would lead to a large-scale rise in tensions in the country’s southeast and irreversible consequences for Ukraine’s statehood, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.
"We have taken note of a statement by Ukrainian President Zelensky, who visited Donbass yesterday and said that the country’s accession to NATO would supposedly help end the conflict in the region. However, contrary to Kiev’s expectations, potential NATO accession will not only fail to bring peace to Ukraine but will, by contrast, lead to a large-scale rise in tensions in the southeast, possibly causing irreversible consequences for Ukraine’s statehood," she pointed out, TASS reports.
"We once again call on the Kiev authorities to adopt a responsible approach and finally start implementing their obligations under the Minsk Package of Measures," Zakarova added.
Zakharova emphasized that the situation in Donbass remained complicated and tended to get worse because of "the bellicose intentions of Kiev, still guided by the illusion that the there can be a military solution to the conflict in the country’s southeast." "Troops and military equipment are being deployed to the region and mobilization plans are being updated," she noted.
"Ukrainian media outlets are whipping up hysteria based on the myth of the Russian threat, claiming that Moscow has plans to attack Ukraine in the near future. Kiev’s Western sponsors openly support most of the developments," Zakharova said.
Zelensky said on Tuesday that the only way to end the war in Donbass was for Ukraine to join NATO. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, pointed out that the move was unacceptable for the residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. He also stressed that the situation in Donbass was Ukraine's domestic conflict that had never involved Russian troops.