NATO does not question Russia’s status as world power: British PM



NATO does not harbor animosity towards Russian people, nor does it question Russia’s status as a world power, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an op-ed published by The New York Times on Sunday.

“We have no hostility toward the Russian people, and we have no desire to impugn a great nation and a world power,” he said, pointing out that “Ukraine had no serious prospect of NATO membership in the near future.”

“This is not a NATO conflict, and it will not become one. No ally has sent combat troops to Ukraine,” the UK prime minister noted.

Earlier, he proposed to NATO allies to support the international plan of action on Ukraine. It includes mobilizing an international humanitarian coalition, providing defensive equipment to Kiev, maximizing the economic pressure on Russia, preventing “any creeping normalization” of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, seeking diplomatic paths towards de-escalation yet only if “the government of Ukraine has full agency in any potential settlement,” as well as bolstering Euro-Atlantic security.

According to Johnson, the West and the entire international community should support these initiatives. Next week, he intends to discuss them with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau and his Dutch colleague Mark Rutte who will visit London on Monday, March 7.

On Tuesday, March 8, the British capital will host the leaders of the Visegrad Group (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) who together with the British prime minister will participate in a special meeting dedicated to Ukraine.