Russian President Vladimir Putin does not accept that NATO wants to expand in Eastern Europe. As a result, Ukraine’s entry into the military alliance would be out of the question, Putin said at his annual press conference for foreign journalists.
“NATO has already had five waves of enlargement. Another is unacceptable. We want to preserve our own security,” said Putin, who sees NATO as a threat to Russia. “What’s unclear about it? We don’t have missiles next to the US border, but they do have them next to our border.
In the 90s, they said they wouldn’t go a mile east, but look now, they’ve got us in the taken aback.” As a result, Russia has sent NATO and the United States proposals on how to stop NATO enlargement.
Relations between Russia on the one hand and Ukraine and NATO on the other have been tense for some time. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, and Russian-backed rebels occupied the eastern Donbas region. In recent months, the Russians have been sending more and more soldiers to the border area with Ukraine. Meanwhile, that country hopes for help from NATO countries if Russia actually invades.
The president did not rule out Russia invading Ukraine. “We act to defend our own interests.” However, he did say that Russia does not want to invade Ukraine. “The future of the Donbas must be determined by the people who live there.”