Ukraine says NATO path is only way to end war in eastern region

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a news briefing following talks with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda in Kyiv, Ukraine March 18, 2021. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday that a path towards membership of NATO was the only way to end war in the eastern Donbass region after speaking to the transatlantic military alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg by phone.

He also called on NATO member states to strengthen their military presence in the Black Sea region to act as a “powerful deterrent” to Russia.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne