Germany Has to ‘Play Leading Role’ in Getting Ukraine Into NATO, Ambassador Claims

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Germany should be proactive in encouraging Ukraine’s swift accession to NATO amid the escalation of the Donbass conflict, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

“Germany in particular, as a country that bears special historical responsibility for Nazi crimes against the Ukrainian people, must play a leading role in order for Ukraine to become a NATO member. And as quickly as possible, with no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts'”, Melnyk said.

He added that Ukraine’s accession to NATO would prevent a new large-scale war in Europe and claimed that it would not be provocative, and would instead serve as a “cold shower” for Moscow.

Earlier, Melnyk said that Ukraine needs to consider the possibility of acquiring nuclear status if it does not become a NATO member.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week that Ukraine’s “hypothetical membership” in NATO could lead to a large-scale escalation in the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the country’s southeast (Donbass) and have an irreversible effect on Ukrainian statehood.

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