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22:59 17 Jun 2021

Kremlin says Ukraine's membership in NATO would be 'red line'

The Kremlin said on Thursday that Ukrainian membership of NATO would be a "red line" for Moscow and that it was worried by talk that Kyiv may one day be granted a Membership Action Plan.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this a day after U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in Geneva, Reuters reports.

"This is something we are watching very closely and this really is a red line for us – as regards the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO. Of course, this (the question of a membership plan for Ukraine) raises our concerns," Peskov said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that he wanted a clear "yes" or "no" from Biden on giving Ukraine a plan to join the NATO. Biden said Ukraine needed to root out corruption and to meet other criteria before it could join.

In addition, Peskov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station that the U.S. participation in the Normandy format had not been discussed at the Putin-Biden summit. He added that this format was self-contained.

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