Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky argues that “NATO should make it impossible for Russia to use nuclear weapons,” and has called on the military alliance to perform “preemptive strikes” on Russia.
Zelensky made his remarks in a video conference with an Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, according to Interfax-Ukraine.
“Preemptive strikes are needed so that they know what awaits them if they use nuclear weapons. Not the other way around, waiting for Russia's nuclear strikes and then saying, 'oh, you've done that, then get this,’” he reportedly said.
While speaking to the Lowy Institute, the Ukrainian president called on the international community to “increase this pressure” against Russia in response to Putin’s annexation of several regions in eastern Ukraine.
Zelensky reportedly stated that “NATO should reconsider how it uses its pressure.”
“Right after Russia staged this farce with sham referenda and this annexation. The price of such actions must be tangible, the consequences - devastating. The aggressor should have no illusions that 2014 can still happen again,” he said in Ukrinform.
"Be sure - the head of Russia is now carefully analyzing the world's reaction to the sham referenda he organized on Ukrainian soil and to the announcement of the annexation of our territory. What exactly is he interested in? It’s simple: he is interested in whether he still has the potential for escalation. If the world's reaction is weak now, Russia will come up with some new escalation,” Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian president stressed that the world must join in a level of cooperation with Ukraine and offer both regular and demonstrative support packages in the form of defensive aid as well as financial aid.