Russia is not going to stop in the Donbas or southern Ukraine, but wants to absorb everyone in Europe, which the Kremlin considers its property, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a NATO summit on June 29.
“It doesn’t want to stop in the Donbas or somewhere in the south of Ukraine, city after city, it wants to absorb everyone in Europe, whom the Russian leadership considers to be their property, and not independent states,” the president said.
“This is the true goal of Russia. The question is who’s next for it? Moldova? Baltic countries? Poland? The answer is all of them.”
Zelensky added that Russia’s goals are known and they are obvious.
“The Russian leadership sees the world differently. Not like you,” he said.
“They look, for example, at Lithuania not as a member of your alliance, but as are public of the Soviet Union. For us, it is a former republic of the Soviet Union, for us it is the past, but they consider it as a possible future, they want to enslave it again. And the same goes for every state neighboring Russia. For every state that was once in Moscow’s sphere of influence.”
The Ukrainian president said Russia’s task is to break NATO.
“Only now, at this summit, you will define Russia as your main threat, but you have been an enemy for them for a very long time,” he said.
“Russia’s ideology is built on this, this is fully reflected in its propaganda, this is its task – to break you, to put pressure on you.”
Ahead of the Madrid summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the countries of the alliance in their new strategic concept recognized Russia as a direct threat to collective security and will increase the number of rapid reaction forces.
Earlier German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that a NATO partnership with Russia was impossible in the near future due to the aggressive policy of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
At the same time, Lithuania plans to increase defense spending in order to deploy more alliance forces on the territory of the country amid Russian threats.