KIEV, April 6 – RIA Novosti. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he is counting on Canada's support in obtaining an action plan for NATO membership.
Earlier, Zelensky discussed with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg the aggravation of the security situation in Donbass and said that the North Atlantic Alliance is the only way to end the conflict in the region. For his part, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that Ukraine's accession to NATO will aggravate internal problems, and for the inhabitants of the self-proclaimed republics, joining the alliance is an absolutely unacceptable prospect.
“Thank you, Justin Trudeau, that in difficult times Canada is always close to Ukraine. Canada's assistance in obtaining the NATO Membership Action Plan will be an important signal of support from true friends. I will be glad to welcome you to the Crimean Platform summit on August 23,” Zelensky wrote in Twitter on Tuesday.
According to the press service of the head of state, Zelensky informed the Canadian Prime Minister by phone about the violation of the ceasefire in Donbass, as well as about “an increase in the military threat from Russia.” Zelenskiy also noted the need to increase international pressure on Russia to prevent further escalation.
“The head of the Ukrainian state thanked for the cooperation within the framework of the Canadian military training mission UNIFIER and offered to consider the possibility of expanding the training program for the armed forces of Ukraine, in particular, increasing the number of Canadian military instructors in our country,” the statement on the website of the head of state says.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in December 2014 amended two laws, abandoning the non-aligned status of the state. In June 2016, additional amendments were adopted that define NATO membership as the country's foreign policy goal. In February 2019, the Ukrainian parliament adopted amendments to the constitution, securing the country's course towards the EU and NATO. Ukraine has become the sixth state to receive NATO Enhanced Partner status. Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said earlier that in order to join the alliance, Ukraine will need to achieve a number of criteria, the implementation of which will take a lot of time. Experts believe that Kiev will not be able to apply for NATO membership in the next 20 years.
The Crimean Platform summit, at which Kiev plans to discuss the return of Crimea, is scheduled for August 23, on the eve of Ukraine's Independence Day. The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova said that any efforts by Kiev to return Crimea to Ukraine are illegitimate and will be perceived as aggression against the subjects of the Russian Federation.
Since 2014, Kiev has repeatedly made predictions about the actions of the Russian Armed Forces, including the allegedly planned attacks. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously stated that the Russian Federation is not going to attack anyone. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is moving troops within its territory and at its own discretion. According to him, this does not threaten anyone and should not worry anyone.