Speaking with Putin in Tehran, Khamenei stated that
“With regards to Ukraine, if you don’t take the initiative, the other side will start a war,” Khamenei said while speaking with Putin in Tehran. Russia TodayWednesday (20/7/2022).
Describing the West as completely opposed to a strong and independent Russia and NATO as a dangerous entity that sees no limits in its expansionist policies, Khamenei added: “If they are not stopped in Ukraine, they will launch the same war some time later under the pretext of the Crimea issue.”
Considered Russian land since imperial times, Crimea was an autonomous republic within the Soviet Union until it was ceded to Ukraine by Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Kruschev in 1954. The region fell under Ukrainian control after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and chose to join Russia in 1954. 2014.
NATO considers Crimea to be an “illegally annexed” Ukrainian territory. While the alliance does not threaten Russia with open war, the group has demanded that Moscow return the territory to Ukrainian control and decisions made by its leaders and the government in Kiev point to a possible path to war over Crimea.
NATO first entered into a partnership with Ukraine in 1997, and in the 2008 Bucharest Declaration stated that Ukraine and Georgia “will become members of NATO” at an unspecified future date.
The declaration remains alliance policy, and if Ukraine joins NATO, the other 30 members will immediately become parties to a territorial dispute with Russia.
For its part, Ukraine has signaled that it intends to join NATO and act on this dispute. Under President Pyotr Poroshenko, the country wrote its goal of becoming a member of NATO into its 2019 constitution, although Moscow warned that having the alliance’s troops and weapons on its borders would constitute an unacceptable security threat.