NATO alliance will have emotions and doctrinal matters interfere in it for everyone who holds the reins of leadership and follows the country that chairs the alliance.
This week, Russian proxies in the regions held referendums viewed as illegitimate by the international community.
“We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” Zelenskyy said on Friday.
Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Kyiv, called this “a dramatic step from President Zelenskyy”.
Ukraine’s NATO membership has always been a red line for Russia, he said.
“Ukraine has always been considered part of Russia’s backyard and therefore sacrosanct in a way – so for Zelenskyy to do this, he knows that this is going to wind up Putin but he has taken this step because I believe he thinks there was no alternative.
NATO accused Putin of provoking “the most serious escalation” of the war in Ukraine since it began but said he would not succeed in deterring the alliance from supporting Kyiv.
“We have the combination of the mobilization in Russia, combined with the reckless, dangerous nuclear rhetoric, and then today’s illegal annexation, or attempt to annex parts of Ukraine,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.
“Together this is the most serious escalation of the conflict since the start and the aim of President Putin is to deter us from supporting Ukraine. But he will not succeed in that,” he told a news conference.