If Ukraine is admitted into the U.S.-led NATO military alliance, then the conflict in Ukraine would be guaranteed to escalate into World War Three, a Russian Security Council official was quoted as saying on Thursday.
Just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin formally proclaimed the annexation of up to 18% of Ukraine on Sept. 30, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced a surprise bid for fast-track membership of NATO.
Full NATO membership for Ukraine is far off because all the alliance’s 30 members would have to give their consent.
“Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to World War Three,” TASS quoted Alexander Venediktov, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, as saying.
Venediktov, who is deputy to Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, a powerful Putin ally, said he felt Ukraine’s application was propaganda as the West understood the consequences of Ukrainian membership of NATO.