The expansion of NATO at the expense of Ukraine creates additional threats to Russia; in this regard, Ukraine’s non-aligned status is extremely important for Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated this in an interview with China Central Television (CTK).
“We said that the security of some states cannot be built on the basis of undermining the security of others; security must be the same for everyone. In this regard, the non-bloc character of Ukraine is extremely important for us,” he said, noting that Moscow is asking to be heard.
Putin also recalled that independent Ukraine was based on the Declaration of Independence of 1991, one of the theses of which is the neutral status of Ukraine. “No, in 2008, for some reason, there was no crisis yet, it was announced that Ukraine was welcome in NATO. No one understands why,” the head of state added.
Previously, Moscow has repeatedly called Ukraine’s entry into NATO unacceptable for itself because of the threat to Russia’s security. Putin has repeatedly spoken about the principled position of Russia on this issue. In addition, in September 2023, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedthat Moscow supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine subject to its non-aligned status. Ukraine, back in September 2022, submitted an application to join NATO on an accelerated basis.
On September 21, Putin, at a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said that he accepted the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the third international forum in October, dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (aka Belt and Road), which will take place on October 17-18 in Beijing.
The October meeting between the leaders of China and Russia will be the second in 2023. Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Russia on March 20-22, which was his first foreign trip after being appointed chairman of the People’s Republic of China for the third time. At the same time, he invited Putin to visit China.