Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk said that the country may opt to construct nuclear weapons to defend against Russia in case it is not accepted into Nato.

The statement by the envoy follows ongoing military tensions with Russia and its ‘significant’ troop movement along Ukraine’s borders.

Since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia is said to have made considerable military build-up in and around Ukraine.

In an interview, Melnyk was quoted by Deutschlandfunk radio as saying: “This parade is much more than muscle play, saber rattling or war drums, as many believe here in Germany. We need military support. So, we need the most modern weapon systems to strengthen our defences.

“Either we are part of an alliance like Nato, and we are helping to make Europe stronger so that Europe becomes more confident, or we have only one option – to arm ourselves, perhaps to think again about nuclear status. How else can we guarantee our security?”

Recently, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba informed Nato Allies on the security situation in the country.

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to stand by the Minsk Agreements, stop provocations, de-escalate the situation and withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory.

Stoltenberg said: “We have supported wide-ranging reforms that are making Ukraine more resilient and help advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

“We will further enhance our cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia on Black Sea security, and we are working to make full use of Ukraine’s status as an enhanced opportunity partner.”