Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has stated that the strategy of not provoking Russia did not work and would not work. This is reported by Ukrinform with reference to Financial Times.
Defence Minister also said the western allies' fears of confronting President of the Russian Federation Putin from a position of strength were misguided. "Not provoking Russi – that strategy does not work and will not work", - he said, having recalled how Moscow had invaded Georgia in 2008 after Berlin and Paris had blocked the country's path to becoming a NATO Ally.
According to Reznikov, Moscow's "red line" against Ukraine's accession to NATO was only part of Russia's "salami-slicing tactics", applied against the alliance. "My perception is the US has understood these threats", - the defence minister stated.
He also recalled that Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, although Germany and France blocked the country's accession to NATO. At that time, they also feared that they might somehow provoke Russia. Now Russia is calling for "guarantees" from the West that it will not accept Ukraine into NATO.
As previously reported, Russian MFA stated in early December that Moscow insisted on specific terms of developing legal guarantees of NATO eastward non-expansion.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the Allies' decision on Ukraine's future membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and stressed the fact that Russia has no veto over it.