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There will be no Ukraine if it joins NATO: Duma deputy speaker

Pyotr Tolstoy, the deputy speaker of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, speaks in an interview with Iran's Tasnim news agency on July 11, 2023.

A top Russian lawmaker insists that there will be no Ukraine if the East European country joins the US-led NATO military alliance.

Pyotr Tolstoy, the deputy speaker of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, made the remarks in an interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency published Tuesday.

Asked about Turkey’s expression of support for Ukraine’s NATO membership, Tolstoy said Russia could not have a positive opinion on the move.

“Regarding the rhetoric about Ukraine joining NATO, I should say the issue is that Turkey, as a member of the 31-member bloc, wants Ukraine to join the alliance. However, I believe that there will be no Ukraine as a result,” he said.

“Zelensky can join NATO himself but without Ukraine,” he added. 

The Russian diplomat also argued that Turkey always thinks about its own interests and acts accordingly.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky officially applied for NATO membership in September 2022, seven months after Russia launched what it called a special military operation in Ukraine partly to prevent NATO’s eastward expansion after warning that the military alliance was following an “aggressive line” against Moscow.

Earlier this month, Zelensky met with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Istanbul, where the latter said Ukraine “deserves” accession into NATO.

After his Istanbul visit, Zelensky brought home five commanders from Ukraine’s ultranationalist Azov Battalion, who were supposed to remain in Turkey until the end of the war under an agreement between Moscow and Kiev.

Europe acts upon US, UK ‘dictates’

Tolstoy also lashed out at the European countries that are supplying weapons to Ukraine, saying they are acting upon the “dictates” of the United States and Britain.

“We told our partners in Europe a lot about our concerns on (arming) Ukraine but they refused to listen to us and stirred up anti-Russian sentiment in the minds of Ukrainians,” he said.

“In the course of 8 years, they exported weapons to Ukraine. Actually, Ukraine is fighting with NATO weapons and NATO is saying very explicitly that it would continue to arm Ukraine.”

Tolstoy added that Russia will, in response, continue to destroy those weapons, and consequently, Ukraine will be demolished.

“The detriments of war will be known after the (end of the) war. The war will ultimately end but after that, the losses incurred by the Anglo-Saxons, the Europeans, the Americans and the British will start.”

“Following the war, Europe will definitely lose its hegemony because of Ukraine’s situation. They (the Europeans) do not make decisions on their own, but rather upon dictates and orders by the US and the UK.”

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