By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The deputy secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Alexander Venediktov, on Thursday cautioned that granting membership of North Atlantic Treaty Organisations (NATO) could escalate the World War III.
“Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War Three,” TASS news agency cited Venediktov as saying in an interview.
“Apparently, that’s what they are counting on – to create informational noise and draw attention to themselves once again.”
Venediktov also accused the West of helping Ukraine, indicating that “they are a direct party to the conflict” a position Vladimir Putin had since maintained.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced a surprise bid for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance at the end of September, after Putin held a ceremony in Moscow to proclaim the four partially occupied regions as annexed Russian land.
In a joint statement, the presidents of Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro and North Macedonia said they “firmly stand behind” a NATO decision made at the 2008 Bucharest summit on Ukraine’s membership prospects to the alliance.
NATO allies had pledged that Ukraine and Georgia would eventually become members without setting a clear timeline for their admissions.
The process stalled over the years, and after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, it seemed increasingly unlikely that the bid would become a reality.
The US has been silent in response to Zelenskyy’s surprise bid, which doesn’t appear having been coordinated with Washington.