Ukrainian Ambassador to UK: Ukraine may choose not to join NATO to avoid Russian invasion

Ukraine may abandon its goal of joining NATO if it helps to avoid war with Russia, said Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, in an interview with BBC radio.

"Especially under threat, we can be pushed to do this. We are flexible in finding the best way out. If we have to make any serious concessions, this is what we could do," Prystaiko said.

The diplomat stressed that Kyiv has been pushed towards making such a decision for a long time, including by "voices from NATO." "The question that a country of 40 million people asks itself is: how to survive if they attack tomorrow? Will we be able to defuse the current situation, being unprotected and not a member of any alliance, when all our friends and neighbors are already members of the organization," the ambassador said.

Ukraine's accession to NATO is enshrined in the country's Constitution.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the words of the ambassador were taken out of context. According to the Foreign Ministry’s speaker, Oleh Nikolenko, the key issue for Ukraine remains the security guarantees, and "the best such guarantee would be the immediate admission of Ukraine" to NATO.

  NATO, Ukraine, Russia