Russian President Vladimir Putin said that if Ukraine joins NATO, the other NATO countries may find themselves embroiled in a military conflict with one of the leading nuclear powers – Russia.
"If Ukraine joins NATO and militarily regains control over Crimea, European countries will automatically be drawn into a military conflict with Russia," Putin said at a press conference after the talks with French president Emmanuel Macron.
At the same time, Putin admitted that the military potentials of NATO and Russia are not comparable, but in the event of a nuclear conflict, there will be no winners.
"We understand that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers, and, in some components, Russia is even ahead of many other countries. There will be no winners. You will be drawn into this conflict against your will," Putin said.
The day before, the Russian and French presidents held five-hour talks, during which they discussed ways to resolve the situation around Ukraine. At a press conference following the talks, Putin offered the fifth President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko political asylum. Putin also said that the only option for resolving the armed conflict in the Donbas is “the implementation of the Minsk agreements, despite the fact that the Ukrainian authorities do not like it”.