Ukraine Again Demanded Membership in the EU and NATO

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“We cannot endlessly sit in the EU and NATO waiting room,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said. “If Russia crosses the line, it will suffer,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned.  Against the background of the pulling of Russian troops to its borders, Ukraine again called for membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance. "We cannot sit indefinitely in the waiting room of the EU and NATO," said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro on the eve of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, April 16. Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at a press conference with the foreign ministers of the Baltic states that Moscow "openly threatens Kiev with war and with the Ukrainian state destruction." "The red line for Ukraine is our state border. If Russia crosses this line, it will suffer," Kuleba added. In turn, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielus Landsbergis confirmed the West's solidarity with Kiev. "Ukraine will never be left alone," Landsbergis assured. Merkel and Biden urge Putin to withdraw troops Messages about Russian troops transfer to the border with Ukraine appeared in early April. Kiev accused Moscow of deploying more than 80 thousand troops on the Ukrainian borders and in the annexed Crimea. According to the US Charge d'Affaires to the OSCE Courtney Ostrien, Russia has deployed between 15,000 and 25,000 soldiers in the region. A number of senior officials in the United States and the European Union have already expressed concern about the situation. On April 14, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border, since, as the German government spokesman Steffen Seibert emphasized, this is the only way to achieve " situation de-escalation." Moscow explains troops transfer to the border with Ukraine by conducting military exercises. Firefights between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army have intensified in Donbas since February.