Ukrainian ambassador to UK clarifies NATO remarks

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Ukraine's ambassador to Britain on Monday clarified earlier remarks about possibly dropping a bid for NATO membership, saying that the former Soviet republic would not be reconsidering its attempt to join the military alliance.

Asked whether or not Ukraine might reconsider its ambitions to join NATO, Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko told the BBC in English: "No this is not and I am quite happy that I have this chance to clarify my position."

Prystaiko said the earlier BBC report was the result of a misunderstanding. read more

Ukraine's ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko walks in Westminster, London, Britain, February 9, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

"We are not a member of NATO right now and to avoid war we are ready for many concessions and that is what we are doing in conversations with the Russians," Prystaiko said. "It has nothing to do with NATO which is enshrined in the constitution."

"It is not a delay to our ambitions to be in NATO - what we are talking about is that we are not in the family now so we have to look for something else like bilateral agreements with the UK, with the United States," he said. "So on top of NATO we are looking for some other arrangements which would allow us to survive at this particular ordeal right now."

Asked again if Ukraine was shifting its bid to become a NATO member, he said: "No."

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by William James and Kate Holton

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