In an exclusive interview with ” Asharq Al-Awsat,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that Ukraine is not prepared to relinquish its aspirations to join both the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
He emphasized that Kyiv’s accession to NATO is the “best security guarantee for Ukraine, Europe, the Euro-Atlantic space, and also for Russia.” Kuleba further explained, “Russia will be certain that the strongest army in Europe, the Ukrainian army, will focus exclusively on defending the eastern flank in the Euro-Atlantic region.”
Senior Ukrainian diplomats rejected any discussion of Ukrainian concessions as a means to end the war, considering such a proposition as “misguided.” As intense fighting continues in eastern and southern Ukraine, Kuleba described the situation on the ground as “highly dynamic.” He also confirmed the Ukrainian armed forces’ liberation of several villages but warned that the situation remains fluid, stating, “We are in a counteroffensive in some areas, while Russia is still on the offensive in other areas. The only difference is that while we are making progress, Russia is not.”
Despite the strength of the Sino-Russian partnership, Kuleba expressed his confidence that China is “not interested” in Russia’s victory in the war. He emphasized the importance of respecting the sovereignty of nations and their territorial integrity. Regarding the possibility of Belarus’ military intervention in Ukraine following its acceptance of Russian nuclear warheads on its territory, Kuleba dismissed the notion of Minsk engaging in a ground offensive against Ukraine in the near future.
Meanwhile, Kuleba commended Saudi Arabia for playing a “highly constructive and helpful role” in a prisoner exchange operation during the war. He also credited Turkey and the United Nations for their significant roles in launching the Black Sea Grain Initiative and lifting the embargo on Ukrainian grain exports to global markets.
Regarding Ukraine’s participation in the Arab League summit held in Jeddah last month, Kuleba stated that President Volodymyr Zelensky dedicated a significant portion of his discussions at the summit, as well as in bilateral meetings, to the peace process. He remarked that it was an important and opportune event for Ukraine, aligning with their policy of engaging with every region and country, engaging in face-to-face dialogue, and explaining their struggle.