Jakarta (ANTARA) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that joining North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a choice Ukraine can make as a sovereign state

"This is the choice of Ukraine as being a sovereign state," the Ukrainian President told the Indonesian people through the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) virtual public forum, accessed from here on Friday.

He made the statement in response to a recent narrative that Ukraine deserves to be punished for wanting to join NATO.

He said that Ukraine has never been in any alliance. Ukraine's bid to join the European Union is a choice the country has made as a sovereign state.

“Please, believe me that this was at the core of the recent revolutions in Ukraine. Some wanted in Europe, others people are free to speak about. People are free to exercise the choice to go to the European Union," Zelenskyy said.

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Russia does not want to let Ukraine leave freely because it does not believe that Ukraine is an independent nation, he added.

In fact, Ukraine's Constitution states that its people have the right to independently decide their own political course.

"You may not wage a war against a country that is willing to join NATO," the Ukrainian President stressed.

Sweden and Finland are now willing to join NATO, he added. However, Russia, using its power, is pushing these countries. These countries want to join NATO because they want protection, he said.

"Why people buy weapons? Just not because they're like shooting and killing. But normal people doing it for their own protection. With a neighbor like that (Russia), you cannot go without weapon," President Zelenskyy said.

"Russia first shoot. Then they says okay, now we are ready to talk about compromise. Let us have a negotiation. This is how terrorists are doing," he added.

Zelenskyy said that Ukraine does not want to negotiate with Russia.

"However, when Russia decides to stop being a terrorist, when they take it nice it's the bloody mistake they have committed, we will be able to sit at the negotiating table with them to discuss what the whole thing is about," he affirmed.

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Reporter: Katriana
Editor: Suharto
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