Ukraine says it will focus on reforms, not North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 12, 2017

President Petro Poroshenko, whose country is fighting a Kremlin-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine, revived the prospect of NATO membership during a visit by NATO Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg who himself used the occasion to call on Moscow to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

But any decision on membership is up to the 29 alliance members, Stoltenberg said.

The remaining parts of the agreement, which envisage stronger cooperation between the European Union and Ukraine in other areas, such as foreign policy, security policy and justice can came into force only after the final ratification by all participants.

Poroshenko, in separate comments issued by his office, said Ukraine was determined to conduct reforms in order to "have a clear schedule of what must be done by 2020 to meet the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership criteria".

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"We will be watching closely how they will comply with the provisions of the current bilateral agreement of January 16, 1997 on visa-free travel of citizens of Russian Federation and Ukraine", it added.

Ukraine has recently been hit by a series of cyberattacks, including a June 27 attack that crippled computers in the country.

Relations between Moscow and Kiev have been exacerbated since 2014 when Crimea rejoined Russian Federation following a referendum, but Ukraine insisted it was illegally annexed by Russian Federation and remains a Ukrainian territory.

Russian Federation has repeatedly opposed NATO's expansion in eastern Europe, including Ukraine becoming a member. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine will report on this subject, Poroshenko said. "It will not boost stability and security in the European continent".

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