Ukraine says its U.K. ambassador did not offer to bargain away NATO aspirations in Russia standoff

Ukraine's foreign ministry said Monday that a comment by Kyiv's ambassador in London about NATO and Russia has been "taken out of context." Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko told BBC News that Ukraine could be "flexible" about NATO membership, perhaps dropping its constitutionally enshrined aspirations to join the Western military alliance, "especially being threatened like that, blackmailed by that, and pushed to it."

British officials told BBC it was "too early" to tell if Prystaiko's comment was a genuine negotiating chip. Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko clarified on social media — in English — that no, it was not.

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