Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to dissuade the alliance from cooperating with Ukraine at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in 2008. This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius at a conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, reports Ukrainska Pravda.
"President Putin, as usual, tried to teach the NATO allies: 'With whom do you cooperate? With Ukraine? This is not a country, it is some kind of artificial formation, a mistake in history," the Lithuanian minister quoted the Russian president.
According to Linkevičius, representatives of NATO countries looked at Putin with bewilderment.
“They could not believe these words, they thought that maybe something was not understood,” he added.
We recall that at the summit in Bucharest, which took place on April 2-4, 2008, the countries - members of the alliance officially confirmed that Ukraine will become a member of the bloc in the future.
At that time, questions about recognizing Kosovo, military operations in Afghanistan, expanding the Alliance by joining Croatia, Albania and Macedonia, as well as joining Ukraine and Georgia to the Action Plan regarding NATO membership were on the agenda. According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, at this summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed to George Bush an opinion that "Ukraine is not even a state!" and hinted that if Ukraine joins NATO, Russia may begin to tear away Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
Six years later, Russian armed aggression against Ukraine began.