Ukraine joins the alliance: Russia threatens NATO with consequences


Status: October 21, 2021 3:02 p.m.

Russia threatens consequences if Ukraine joins NATO. Federal Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer spoke out in favor of a tougher course against Moscow.

Russia threatens NATO with consequences if the military alliance takes further steps to admit Ukraine. Deputy Secretary of State Andrej Rudenko reacted by threatening statements by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. But Rudenko left it open what Russia’s reaction would look like.

USA support desire to join

Ukraine has long wanted to join NATO. Austin had said a few days ago that the US supported this and that no third country could veto decisions made by NATO about admitting members. Austin had also said during his visit to the Ukrainian capital Kiev that Russia was the obstacle to peace in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian separatists have been hostile to each other there for years. Russia has repeatedly denied Ukraine’s allegations that it sent soldiers to eastern Ukraine and supported the separatists there.

The armed conflict dates back to 2014. At that time, Russia had annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and justified this with the fact that the Russian population group there had to be protected. Previously, the pro-Russian President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown in the course of mass protests. There is a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, but it is violated again and again. Around 14,000 people have been killed in the fighting between Ukrainian security forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Kramp-Karrenbauer for a harder pace

Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) has meanwhile spoken out in favor of a tougher approach to Moscow. In view of the increasing “challenges” from Russia, NATO must “make it very clear” that it is also ready to take military action, said Kramp-Karrenbauer on Deutschlandfunk at the first physical meeting with its NATO colleagues in Brussels for around a year. Kramp-Karrenbauer emphasized that nobody should “get the idea” to “attack” NATO partners. She referred to Russian “violations of the airspace over the Baltic states, but also increasing attacks around the Black Sea”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the alliance is relying on a mixture of “credible deterrence” and “efforts for a meaningful dialogue” vis-à-vis Russia. At the same time, he regretted the Russian decision to close the permanent representation to the military alliance and the NATO office in Moscow until further notice. Russia had responded to suspected spies exposed at NATO headquarters.

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October 21, 2021 • 9:36 pm

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