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Russia Diplomat Warns Ukraine Joining EU Same as Joining NATO

Ukraine joining the European Union would be the same as joining NATO in Moscow’s eyes, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the U.N. has said, indicating a toughening of Russia’s position on any settlement to end the war in Ukraine.

Moscow had previously signaled that it may allow Ukraine to join the EU, which is mainly a political and economic body, if it vowed not to apply for NATO membership, which Moscow regards as a national security threat, the Financial Times reported on March 28.

However, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the U.N. Dmitry Polyanskiy said in an interview on Thursday that Moscow no longer sees much difference between Ukraine’s accession to the EU and NATO.

“Our position on the European Union now is more similar to NATO because we don’t see a big difference,” Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the U.N., said in an interview with the British news outlet UnHerd.

Asked if Russia was now seeking guarantees that Ukraine would not join either NATO or the EU, Polyanskiy appeared to nod his head in assent.

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