Ukraine officially applies to join Nato after Putin's deranged speech as Russia illegally annexes four regions | The Sun

UKRAINE has officially applied to become part of Nato – just moments after mad Putin vowed to use "any means" to defend the four Ukrainian regions annexed to Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed off the paperwork today for fast-track membership to the alliance to "protect our entire community" following the tyrant's rambling speech.

Russia has long feared Ukraine joining the alliance since it become closer with the West and Putin has repeatedly issued threats to scare the nation into staying out of it.

If Ukraine's application is successful, member states would be obligated to defend it against Russia – meaning the UK and US would be compelled to send in troops.

Zelensky said: "We have already made our way to Nato.

"We have already proven compatibility with the alliance's standards.

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"They are real for Ukraine – real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction. We trust each other, we help each other, and we protect each other. That's what the Alliance is. De facto.

"Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure. In a process that is consistent with our value in protecting our entire community. In an expedited manner. 

"We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine's application for accelerated accession to Nato."

France and Germany previously opposed Ukraine's inclusion in 2008, and joining Nato requires the unanimous support of the members.

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Zelensky's decision to apply comes after Putin hosted a grand signing ceremony at the Kremlin today to welcome the stolen regions of Ukraine to Russia as his seven-month war enters a terrifying new phase.

Putin formally inked decrees declaring Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to be Russian territory following a series of sham referendums.

The ruthless land grab was made official at the Georgievsky Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace in a signing ceremony.

Putin was late showing up to the huge gathering of his cronies and then issued a long, rambling, nonsensical diatribe.

In his speech, he said: "People have made their choice – and that choice is beyond any doubt… this is the will of millions of people."

The Russian leader vowed to "defend our land with all means" – and said the people living in the stolen Ukrainian regions are "our citizens forever".

He said: "People living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson region and Zaporizhzhia region are becoming our citizens forever.

"We will defend our land with all our strength and all our means."

Revealing the membership bid, Zelensky also repeated his pledge to reunite all of the Ukrainian territory now held by Russia.

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He said: "The entire territory of our country will be liberated from this enemy – the enemy not only of Ukraine, but also of life itself, humanity, law and truth.

"Russia already knows this. It feels our power. It sees that it is here, in Ukraine, that we prove the strength of our values."

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