NATO Slams Russia Over Interference In Eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian Prime Minister signals request to join NATO, which is unlikely to be accepted.
14:19 | 08/29/14

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Transcript for NATO Slams Russia Over Interference In Eastern Ukraine
Into eastbound and south east and Ukraine. This is not an isolated action -- props of a dangerous -- time. Over many months. To destabilize. Ukraine. As a sovereign nation. NATO Secretary General today slamming rush and backing Ukraine's sovereignty. Right now -- -- hot spot. Eastern Ukraine. I'm body can Nona in Washington that the fighting intensifying in cities in eastern Ukraine. As rebel forces are now pushing back the Ukrainian army. And while NATO says it fully supports Ukraine it became extremely -- -- on the Ukrainian prime minister's request to join NATO. The BBC's nick Childs has more on the crisis in Ukraine. Pro Russian rebels continue -- fight back against Ukrainian government troops after weeks in which -- been forced onto the defensive. This is unverified footage. But significantly Kiev and the west say this fight back has been fortified by escalating Russian military involvement. Prompting an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors. Today we expressed strong solidarity -- Ukraine. At the where summits next week. We will meet president -- -- -- To make clear NATO's -- -- support for Ukraine. But how far will that support -- the Ukrainian prime ministers just said that his government would ask parliament to seek NATO membership. The NATO response a cautious one that it respects -- decision. And the -- from Washington the response to -- is not military but diplomatic. Russia is already more isolated and any time since the end of the Cold War. Capital is -- to investors are increasingly staying out its economy is in decline. And this ongoing Russian incursion into Ukraine will only bring more costs and consequences for Russia. EU leaders meeting in Brussels this weekend will now look -- tougher sanctions against Russia following this new turn in the crisis. But how effective can they be given the stakes in this for the criminal. The new satellite imagery that -- says -- Russian combat forces in and around -- Ukraine. Moscow is still denies any such involvement. A defiant rally by Ukrainian loyalists in the southeastern town of -- -- suddenly under threat from the latest rebel successes. Their opinion of the Russian president Vladimir Putin clear enough. But in his latest remarks the Russian leader has responded with a Nazi analogy of his own. Accusing Kiev of and is sold in eastern Ukraine reminiscent of the siege of -- -- will board to. The wreckage and the costs of this conflict in Ukraine and beyond a plain to see. A way out of -- however seems as elusive as ever -- Childs BBC news. And we're joined now by ABC news international affairs correspondent he -- McDonald in Kiev today payments Ukraine says it wants to join NATO. But does it make it less likely that it would actually be accepted into that group allied nations. Given the unrest in the country right now on the fighting with Russia. -- Yes absolutely it doesn't start simple straightforward reasons -- -- Under today's -- -- -- is there isn't mutual defense pact. That means an excellent member states. Would be obliged if you -- and it was a man about to access defendant in the case an invasion. Given that there is and it certainly -- and arguments that Russia is in -- person is an inviting. Ukraine is now caught a lot of evidence to support that theory as well. That means that -- examined estates would be approaching this request. Very cautiously. Is not the first time that we've -- in this sort of situation. What you Christ has tried to press forward -- -- membership. This has happened before they didn't quite get there. Obvious certainly to prime minister Yassin who is saying that abilities to go to -- all of it'll be voted on sensing what that will try to change it is Ukraine's position is position effectively is an all lines cited an August. There's legislation in -- -- in the constitution. Preventing crime from joining. Blocks from joining unions for example like the European Union. Or the NATO alliance. If they lift that restriction from Nicole's situation may be entitled to -- -- -- place. I clearly EU -- European Union membership. Is another thing -- are clearly some people in Ukraine and and -- many people within the political establishment. Would like to see. Payments nearly 2600 people have been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine. And that is not including the 298 civilians of Malaysia airlines flight and made seventeen that was shot down there. Can you -- us some idea just how intense the fighting has been an eastern Ukraine. Let's not doubt has been intense in the last 2448. Hours. As you mentioned -- has made many eight who kills. Throughout the duration of this conflict. Today what we've seen is continued fighting -- It seems a little bit closer to the strategically important town. A married couple which is all the agency the C. It's in history to Atlanta is being discussed a possible. And corridor stretching from rock -- proper. In Crimea which it was -- next Italy this year. -- today it was concerned released by the ukrainians. That notebook as the most -- Poland. Tuesday pro Russian separatists. But clearly in -- mixed in these -- small geographical area is some 1000. Russian troops -- according tonight's. Worth noting however that the Kremlin is denying. There any Russian soldiers while on Ukrainian -- -- -- here's the big question what's concerning a lot of people right now with the latest aggression from Russia. What then is the likelihood of an all out war between Russia and Ukraine. But he got. Probably remains fairly unlikely got -- we've been here many times this year and certainly is as early as January and February were talking about this question of possible Russian invasion. Excitement -- absolutely. Not impossible. That -- would take steps towards that yet -- In -- who is. Ukrainian leadership is saying Albanian baggage. By Russia already. It's conjecture about because as -- citing Kremlin denies that there in fact any Russian troops on the ground and you find that there is plenty of evidence now it's -- satellite imagery -- heavy artillery for a shooting minutes. -- inside Ukrainian territory as well there's been -- ten. You -- Russian paratroopers captured. Early this week. That initially Russia denied it was here had been captured and instead -- Wandered off the pop and ended up in Ukraine by mistake is -- lots of evidence. Heavy weaponry and artillery. And machinery only ground from Russia. Inside Ukraine in the areas that it Danes who -- -- So it's difficult to deny. That carries a conflict going -- at least. And some widely supported by Russia weathered all that means -- ground assault. By the Russian military is another matter altogether but certainly Ukrainian leadership the president the prime minister -- of the diplomats design. -- sees an invasion. We are currently confronting the Russian military are we need support means national community. So he knows what is Russia's ended goal here can you explain why it is so important for Russia to have control or influence in Ukraine. But -- not clearly states. From the Russian point of view what -- say is that there is. At a huge. Population inside Ukraine could have. Allegiance to -- and speak Russian and Ukrainian. I had ethnically. Russian and need protection. Since the revolution that occurred here earlier this year. -- originally ousting of the president and government put in place. Berries. Cents a box that pro Russian community that their on this race. And suddenly you there why is pro Russian separatists. We are very active in eastern Ukraine and there is a fairly clear division between eastern and western Ukraine's. President who was ousted -- -- Pro Russian I have a lot of his support. In the east of the concerts a lot of me protest a lot of the uprising. Against his -- issue came from the west of the country including a capital Kiev. Up from people who walked closer ties. We Europe that's the crop consider the situation that we've found ourselves in this -- in Ukraine. But in -- and -- It seems Russia is trying to -- -- right now. There is a very strong school of thought that what -- is trying to do is establish a -- -- corridor stretching from Russia -- In -- You crime stretching to Crimea which addicts back in much the reason Crimea. Is important is that the Russian black seat police. Is basically a seller war not Russia -- -- -- -- -- a hugely. Important strategic positions holds. The Black -- usually remains that. And clearly if there's a land corridor connecting. The port tutored -- -- -- -- that would be very significant for Russia. And the US has already put into place multiple sanctions against Russia is there anything else that Washington did you can do to curb Moscow. -- that things -- the United States could do. I think there are -- things that they will do. -- clearly sections. Have been put in place. Particularly -- eight downing of -- said insane not so long ago. More sanctions. Maybe putting -- Russian officials. But beyond that she -- The White House is reluctant to do more we -- some very strong words. The UN Security Council yesterday from US representatives a -- that some of the strongest. Language yet in relations and -- an intrusion she said that the mosque is coming off in not stop lying. And that said it was huge race. If they didn't follow through with actions the realities are of the international community has struggled to find -- united voice. In dealing we have not an inspiration. Essentially that Russia is and you click it is very powerful is very strong and hasn't -- military. The international community has a lot of problems on -- -- at the moment not to mention. I -- the situation in Iraq and Syria as well as the situation in Libya. Beyond that there are so many problems of the world is trying instead. The international community particularly the west is trying to grapple with it clearly does not want to be -- Vladimir Putin on head on in a confrontation. -- -- -- So it is very much -- gently gently approach as far as the United States is -- And President Obama and secretary -- are going to -- NATO summit next -- -- So what actions can NATO take two. But again they're going to be very cautious. The reality years -- -- does not want a confrontation we Vladimir region of eastern Ukraine I don't want. This conflict to continue it is not -- and clean necessarily that Russia. Watson pulls out all sleep well that may want is that there's still conflict while -- -- want to -- Stool. The conflict that exists currently an entrance -- negotiations -- -- trying to. Her controls. Eastern Ukraine -- when they're not eastern Ukrainian regions are. More autonomy clearly if they did have -- already that much more allegiance to -- -- and I would say Kiet. -- that may be that long term strategy. The -- as far as NATO's consent. Some of the actions that might be able to take used to say it well. We want to keep you cry for membership. That we -- Move things along -- we might give them greater support we might. Introduce him as an -- -- We might even. Encourage -- -- -- did -- the European Union to look more closely. -- -- -- issue that you cracked. Those things that the auditors -- -- necessarily be happy about and might be seen as she unity measures in response that's what treatment has been doing sort spot. Stop what we've seen since season two track strategy as far as the rhetoric is concerned Foley's instant community from the United States strong nice on the one -- I will sites -- quite strong things this is terrible Britain must stop. -- line they're clearly Russian forces on the ground and you crack. The same time how it up. We say. A real reluctance to carry each word. -- that we threats and carry out -- Following. Sort of language there's a reluctance. To take -- -- ABC news international affairs correspondent payments McDonald in -- famous please be as safe as you can out there and thanks for joining us today. -- -- keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news at and starring this story -- exclusive updates on the -- You've been watching international hot spots on -- -- nominee and Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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