Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, speaking to French University Sciences Po, said the war with Russia would have been prevented if his country had been member of Nato beforehand.
"If Ukraine had been part of Nato before the war, there would have been no war", Mr Zelenskiy told students via videolink.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said the risk of seeing Ukraine become member of Nato warranted the invasion of its neighbour that started more than two months ago.
Meanwhile, Russian troops have been pounding the vital port of Odessa, Ukrainian officials said, apparently as part of efforts to disrupt the supply lines and weapons shipments that have been critical to Kyiv’s defence.
The Ukrainian military said Russian forces fired seven missiles on Monday from the air at Ukraine’s largest port, hitting a shopping centre and a warehouse. One person was killed and five wounded, the military said.
Images overnight showed a burning building and detritus in a heap of destruction in the city on the Black Sea. At daybreak, mayor Gennady Trukhanov visited the warehouse and said it “had nothing in common with military infrastructure or military objects”