London, Aug.23 : Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has asserted that the fundamentals of international politics have changed and added that his country will do everything in its power to ensure it will not be on the Kremlin hitlist.
"It is the first time in Europe since the Cold War that a foreign army has entered the territory of a sovereign state without any internationally accepted legal basis. If we were to be ambivalent about this it would give tacit approval to put our country and our citizens under threat," The Times quoted him, as saying.
The President - one of the figureheads of the Orange Revolution that toppled Moscow's favoured candidate for the leadership of Ukraine - was, however, careful not to criticise Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, directly.
Russians form a strong minority in Ukraine - about 17 per cent of the population, in the east and to the south in the Crimea - and could become a flashpoint in any future confrontation with Moscow.
"Ukraine has to move towards the Nato alliance.It is the only way for our country to protect our national security and sovereignty. When the borders of Nato expand, so too does the region of peace and stability," Yushchenko said.
As a young man, the President had direct experience of Russia's fear of encirclement - after graduation he did national service as a KGB border guard on the Soviet-Turkish border.
"We need to increase the military budget so that there is no question about what happens tomorrow," he added.
Russia argues that the West is posing a direct threat on its borders by expanding Nato, but its invasion on behalf of the South Ossetians has cancelled out its claim to have legitimate anxieties.
"The peace and security of Europe are under threat, thus a united Europe should give a robust and appropriate response," the President said.