Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top ally, Dmitry Medvedev, says if Ukraine had been allowed to join NATO, World War Three could have begun.
In an interview with French TV network LCI, Medvedev also said it is not possible for Moscow to stop its military campaign in Ukraine even if Kiev formally renounces its aspirations to join NATO.
Russia, he said, will continue their military operations until its goals are achieved.
The ongoing military operations in Ukraine are the “most modest option” available to Moscow, Medvedev said, adding Russian troops only target the Ukrainian military.
Ukraine’s "infrastructure would have been completely destroyed, its decision-making centers, its state authorities, and so on. We didn’t go that route,” Medvedev was quoted as saying.
Now chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Medvedev showed the former president announced Moscow's readiness to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on certain conditions.
"Renouncing its participation in the North Atlantic alliance is now vital, but it is already insufficient in order to establish peace," he said.
Ever since February, when Russia launched its full-scale military operation in Ukraine, the two countries have held several rounds of talks to settle the war, but have not shown any output.
"This will depend on how events unfold. We were ready before to meet (Zelensky)," Medvedev said.