Today, Ukraine is closer to receiving the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) than ever before. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a joint interview for Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Associated Press.
"Every day we prove that we are ready to be in the Alliance more than most countries in the European Union. Due to the fact that, unfortunately, we have been at war for seven years, support for joining NATO has increased among Ukrainians. Because for people it is security, it is protection for their children," the Head of State stressed.
According to him, over the past year, the position of Western partners in support of Ukraine has become stronger, but the leaders of these countries are still often guided by their domestic interests.
However, according to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Western countries must realize that the war on Ukraine's borders and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine is also a war in Europe in which Ukrainians die "for all the principles preached and upheld by NATO and EU leaders".
Therefore, in his opinion, Western partners must understand that supporting Ukraine is not only a benefit for the Ukrainian people, it is also a benefit and security for their countries.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also noted that the energy security of Ukraine and the whole of Europe is threatened by the Nord Stream 2 project, which is, in fact, a weapon of Russia.
In addition, the President recalled that during a recent phone conversation with President Joe Biden, he had received an invitation to visit the United States in late July. During a meeting with the United States leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy hopes to discuss Ukraine's NATO Membership Action Plan, economic support, and the security situation in the east.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the Russian Federation is currently slowly withdrawing its troops from the border with Ukraine after the recent buildup of a significant number of its armed forces.
"Today, unfortunately, we have to be prepared for complications any day. I do not think it will happen, but there is a possibility of provocations, in particular in mid-September, during "West 2021" (joint military exercises of Russia and Belarus "West 2021" - ed.)", added the President.
However, he believes Russia is not interested in a full-scale war, because it understands that Ukraine will not retreat, will go to the end, and this could result in World War III.
The President of Ukraine hopes to have a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation to intensify peace talks, although the Russian side is delaying its holding for no apparent reason.
"We hope that in the near future we will receive an agenda and deadlines," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
In the context of Ukraine's cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, the President expressed the opinion that it is unfair to make the same demands on our country as on other states. After all, Ukraine has been at war for the eighth year already and has been forced to choose priority areas for reform in a different way.
"I do not think it is possible to compare the IMF's strategy of behavior with Ukraine with other countries. Our country simply cannot be put on a par with others. Because we have a complication, because there is a war. Because money is spent on priorities not in terms of economy, but in terms of security. First the military, first medicine, then everything else,” he explained.
At the same time, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the continuation of Ukraine’s cooperation with the IMF is important for economic stability and the investment climate, as other financial support programs are tied to the IMF program.
"Therefore, we will definitely do everything we promised," the President concluded.