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Zelensky Concedes Ukraine Unlikely to Join NATO, Seeks Security Guarantees

Russian forces have surrounded the port city of Mariupol and also launched attacks against the capitol of Kyiv this week.
© Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP
© Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday admitted that Ukraine is unlikely to join NATO, the Western security alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded Ukraine never join, as he made a call for increased security commitments from the West. 

In an address before the U.K.'s Joint Expeditionary Force, Zelensky said Ukraine was still seeking security guarantees short of joining NATO, Reuters reported.

The Ukrainian president said it was "clear" that Ukraine was not a member of NATO, The Washington Post reported.

"For years we heard about the apparently open door, but have already also heard that we will not enter there, and these are truths and must be acknowledged," he said.

Ukraine has strived to join NATO since the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, but Moscow has fiercely fought against it. Russia's demand that Ukraine never join the alliance is among the lofty demands it has made in talks to halt its attack.

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators are still discussing terms this week to potentially enact a ceasefire in Ukraine as the Russian onslaught continues, taking a growing civilian toll. 

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