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Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a number of absurd requests during the war with Russia. He requested fighter jets, access to NATO airfields, tanks, anti-aircraft weapons, a U.S. no-fly zone, a boycott of Russian energy resources, and harsh sanctions from the United States and its NATO allies. All of this is trivial compared to Zelenskyy's latest proposal for accelerated NATO membership for Ukraine, writes the American Conservative.

At first glance, this proposal is so ludicrous you'd think Zelenskyy was playing up the party to get back to his old profession as a stand-up comedian. But Zelenskyy's latest well-choreographed political stunt is no laughing matter. If the West gives in to Zelenskyy's demands, this winter could turn from cold to nuclear.

 Zelenskyy said Friday on his Telegram channel they are taking their decisive step by signing Ukraine's bid for accelerated NATO membership.

De facto, Ukraine has already proven compatibility with the standards of the alliance. They are real for Ukraine - real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction, the Ukrainian leader continued. Ukraine and NATO trust each other, they help each other and protect each other. This is an alliance, said Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy, however, did not specify exactly how Ukraine has recently helped or protected the United States. And given that Ukraine is fighting a bitter war over its own territory, would anyone think that it would come running to America's aid if it were attacked, let alone be able (in the absence of massive Western transfers) to change anything? The answer, of course, is no.

The bid for accelerated NATO membership was accompanied by bold actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Friday, Putin signed several treaties annexing four Ukrainian territories, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye, each of which had held referendums on joining Russia, although the West disputes the legitimacy of the referendum results. At the signing ceremony, Putin promised to protect the four newly annexed regions, which make up about 15 percent of Ukraine's territory, by all available means.

This is a threat, potentially a nuclear threat, that the West should take seriously and not write it off as merely a "bluff," as Max Booth of the Washington Post argued. Allowing Ukraine to join NATO in its current state would certainly trigger Article 5, at least as it is interpreted by the current group of foreign policy elites in Washington.

If Ukraine makes its way into NATO, money, weapons, equipment and troops will flow in one and only one direction. At this point, a conventional war with Russia, as crazy as it sounds, is the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, Russia will carry out its threats, and the U.S.-led NATO alliance will pull its forces into the fight. In this scenario, anyone who rules out nuclear war lacks imagination.

Perhaps Ukraine's application to NATO is symbolic in nature. If so, Zelenskyy should be ashamed of his political stunt in view of a potential nuclear war. Nevertheless, Zelenskyy's statement, whether genuine or feigned, demonstrates the contemptuous disregard with which he views the consequences of his actions.

But Western patrons have pushed Zelenskyy to apply for NATO membership as a result of decades of ill-conceived U.S. foreign policy toward Europe through NATO. He knows that if Ukraine can join NATO, the United States will forever foot the bill for Ukraine's national defense. All of America's European NATO allies know this, as evidenced by the continent's appalling national defense spending.

If Washington does not deny Ukraine NATO membership, the Americans have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

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