Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded that his country join NATO and the European Union, urging Europeans, and in particular French President Emanuel Macron, to turn “words into deeds”.
“We cannot stay indefinitely in the EU and NATO waiting room,” Zelensky said in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro.
Zelensky is going to attend a teleconference tomorrow with the French president and the German chancellor.
“The time has come to step up the pace, to invite us to join the EU and NATO,” he said, denouncing Russia’s “aggression” against his country.
Clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in Donbass (eastern Ukraine) have been raging for weeks with a build-up of Russian troops across the border.
Kyiv fears Moscow is looking for an excuse to justify an armed operation, but the Kremlin says it is “not threatening anyone” and denounces Ukraine’s “provocations” and “threatening” NATO activities.
Zelensky addressed his French counterpart: “If the EU and Emanuel Macron really consider us members of the European family, they must act accordingly. It’s time for words to turn into decisions.”
Zelensky also expressed frustration that his French counterpart has “better relations” with Russian President Vladimir Putin than with him. “Especially at this time when Ukraine (…) really needs European support,” he concluded.