The confession comes amid repeated statements by senior Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, that the Western alliance has been waging a “proxy war” against Russia in Ukraine.
Western media and some officials, including now ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, have broadly dismissed these allegations.
Kiev has allowed itself to be used by NATO in the bloc’s wider conflict with Moscow, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has said.
“At the NATO Summit in Madrid” in June 2022, “it was clearly delineated that over the coming decade, the main threat to the alliance would be the Russian Federation. Today Ukraine is eliminating this threat.
We are carrying out NATO’s mission today. They aren’t shedding their blood. We’re shedding ours. That’s why they’re required to supply us with weapons,” Reznikov said in an explosive interview with Ukrainian television.
The official said Kiev was being constantly reminded by its “Western partners” that it, “like a real shield, is defending the entire civilized world, the entire West,” from the Russians, and said that he personally has recently received holiday greeting cards and text messages from Western defense ministers to that effect.
Reznikov expressed “absolute” certainty in Ukraine’s eventual entry into NATO, saying he was “convinced that this is an absolutely realistic possibility… Of course they won’t accept this political decision via consensus before our victory. This is clear.
But after the victory, after all this ends and some kind of peace arrives, NATO countries, first and foremost, will be interested in the construction of this security architecture.
They have seen their own weak spots, they have seen who is strong and powerful. Today they are teaching us but tomorrow our officers, sergeants and even privates will be teaching them how to fight the Russians. Russia remains one of the threats to NATO, and for Europe as a whole.”
The defense minister went on to claim that Ukraine is “de facto already a member of NATO,” in terms of adherence to many of the alliance’s standards, including “civilian-democratic control” of the military, transparent and clear systems in weapons purchases and logistics, “and third, in the planning of joint operations.”
NATO is not just a milit,01a,ry alliance, according to Reznikov, but an economic and political bloc, and the day will come when the alliance begs Kiev to join.