“If the escalation intensifies … we must be prepared to defend the independence and integrity of our country – and civil defense has also [sic] to be prepared, “Klitschko told CNN’s Lynda Kinkade on Wednesday on” Connect the World. ”
“We hope that will never happen, this [is] worst case scenario, but we have to be prepared, ”added the former heavyweight world champion.
Klitschko said he was “worried” about Russian military forces at the border, but said it was possible that what we are witnessing is just a matter of optics, calling Russian tactics a “muscle game”.
Moscow demands security guarantees from the United States and NATO, including a binding commitment that NATO will not expand further east and allow Ukraine to join the military alliance – what NATO is not prepared to do.
During Wednesday’s roughly four-hour meeting – which lasted longer than expected – Sherman said the United States and its NATO allies made it clear that Russia’s request for Ukraine to never being allowed to join NATO was a failure.
Talks with the NATO-Russia Council are the second of three rounds of meetings this week. They are sandwiched between Monday’s US-Russian talks and Thursday’s meeting between Russa and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Klitschko criticized the talks in Switzerland and Belgium for not including Ukraine at a high level and called it a “geopolitical” game.
“Everyone is talking about Ukraine, without Ukraine,” Klitschko said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said after Wednesday’s session that NATO’s behavior created unacceptable risks for Russia. Klitschko described Grushko’s comments as a “political game”.
“Without weapons delivered to this region, without financial support, without propaganda, this conflict will never, never take place. Everything happens under the control of [the] Russian Federation, “said the former boxer.
Sherman called it “difficult to understand” how Russia could feel threatened by Ukraine despite having the largest conventional army in Europe.
“Democratic European country”
“In 2014, Ukraine decided to take a European direction for the development of our country. It’s not [the] Russian Federation and Mr. Putin is not satisfied with this decision because his idea [is] rebuild [the] Soviet Empire, ”Klitschko said, referring to the Russian president.
“We don’t want to go back to [the] USSR. We see our future as [a] democratic European country. ”
Known as Dr. Ironfist when he boxed due to his doctorate in sports science, Klitschko is 6 feet 7 ½ inches tall.
Klitschko is serving his second term as head of Kiev.