Kyiv reiterates its aim to join the alliance as Russia’s top diplomat urges Putin to continue talks with the West. Ukraine stands firm on NATO membership ambition.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has affirmed that Ukraine still wants to join NATO despite Russia’s opposition and some Western countries’ skepticism over Kyiv’s bid to become a member of the transatlantic security alliance.

Everything you need to know about Russia and Ukraine tensions.

Speaking in Kyiv on Monday alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Zelenskyy said he believed his country should “move along the path we have chosen” in the face of spiraling tensions with Moscow, which has massed an estimated 100,000 soldiers and advanced weapons around Ukraine’s borders.

His remarks came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov advised President Vladimir Putin to continue talks with the West on Moscow’s security demands. Washington and NATO have to date rejected Russia’s main requests.

Ukraine leader says NATO membership would ‘ensure our security’

President Zelensky has declared that joining the NATO alliance would guarantee his country’s survival, defending an ambition that has enraged his powerful Russian neighbour.

“We understand that NATO membership would ensure our security and our territorial integrity,” Zelensky told reporters at a joint news conference with Germany’s Scholz.

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