Ukraine’s Foreign Minister: NATO Did Little to Help Kiev, Unlike EU
18:48 GMT 16.05.2022 (Updated: 17:14 GMT 12.04.2023)
© AP Photo / Olivier MatthysUkraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba arrives prior to talk to the press after a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, May 16, 2022. European Union foreign ministers on Monday will discuss current affairs and have an exchange of views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the Global Gateway. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
© AP Photo / Olivier Matthys
Kiev has been demanding that NATO set up a no-fly zone over Ukraine since the Russian special military operation kicked off. The alliance promptly ruled out such an option since it may lead to direct confrontation with Russia and because Ukraine is not a member.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has criticised NATO for doing very little for Ukraine in the context of the conflict with Russia. During his interview with Bloomberg, Kuleba also praised the EU for outpacing the Washington-based military bloc.
"In the beginning [of Russia's special military operation] the perception was that NATO is strong and NATO can act, and NATO can deliver. And the only thing EU can do is to express different levels of concern. The [special operation] proved that everything is completely different. NATO as an alliance […] can do very little, if anything", he said.
The Ukrainian went on to comment that certain NATO member-states have been "very helpful" to his country’s efforts, sending weapons and financial assistance, but stressed that the alliance as a whole has done nothing.
Comparing NATOs support to that of the EU, the diplomat praised Brussels for applying sanctions, making "strong political statements", and pledging economic support. Kuleba went as far as to claim that Brussels was not Kiev's best hope, but rather "Ukraine is the best hope of the EU".
"The EU is back on track as a driving force, as a body which can shape the future of Europe. And its Ukraine which gave them the chance to demonstrate that they can", Kuleba added.
Since the start of the Russian special military operation on 24 February, Ukraine has been demanding that NATO establish a no-fly zone over the country to prevent Russian forces from carrying out airstrikes. However, Western countries promptly refused to do so, noting that it could trigger an armed confrontation with Russia and potentially nuclear war.
In addition, despite striving to join the alliance, Ukraine is not a NATO member and hence does not enjoy protection under article 5, which forces members to come to the aid of any other in the case of conflict.