Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday Ukraine was formally applying for fast-track membership in the NATO military alliance.
"We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine's application for accelerated accession to NATO," Zelensky said in a video on Telegram, reports Reuters.
The Ukrainian leader made his comments in a video which appeared intended as a forceful rebuttal to the Kremlin after Putin held a ceremony in Moscow to proclaim four partially occupied Ukrainian regions as annexed Russian land.
The video showed Zelensky announcing the decision and then signing a document flanked by his prime minister and the speaker of parliament.
"Ukraine is ready for negotiations, but with a different Russian president," Zelensky said.