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Ukraine to immediately join NATO after Russia annexed regions

Ukraine to immediately join NATO after Russia annexed regions

Russian army.

Kyiv: Ukraine's administration is going to request a fast-track NATO membership, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday, after Russia started to formally annex four regions of Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported.

In a video message, Zelensky said that Kyiv has already proven its compatibility with (NATO) alliance standards. They were taking a decisive step by signing their country's application for accelerated accession to NATO, Zelensky added.

Further, the Ukraine president said that Kyiv would not negotiate with Moscow as long as as long as President Vladimir Putin was in power.

"Ukraine will not hold any negotiations with Russia as long as Putin is the president of the Russian Federation. We will negotiate with the new president," AFP quoted Zelensky.

Zelensky's statement comes post Putin signing treaties to annex Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk and Zaporizhzhia at a grand ceremony in the Kremlin. As per pro-Russian leaders of the said regions, people voted in favour of becoming part of Russia through referendums that Western capitals and international organisations did not recognise.

Ukraine and Western governments alleged these "bogus", and "illegitimate" referendums were conducted at gunpoint. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called referendums a "sham' and " futile effort" to mask Russia's land grab in Ukraine.

Moscow says people chose freely to return to their "historic motherland", according to Reuters.

The annexation comes at a time when Russian is facing reversals at the war front in Ukraine.

Ukraine routed Russian forces in the northeastern Kharkiv region blunting Russia's military acumen. Putin has declared that he will defend the annexed regions with nuclear weapons, which the western leaders called a "bluff" warning of "catastrophic consequence" if a nuclear is used.

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TAGS:UkraineRussiaVladimir PutinNATOVolodymyr ZelenskyWest
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