5 Ukraine’s Parliament Fully Behind Joining NATO: Speaker
The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Parubiy, has declared that joining NATO is a strategic goal for the country and that parliament is wholeheartedly behind the initiative.
Ukraine largely maintained a non-alliance policy in the years following its 1991 independence from the Soviet Union. However, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion in Eastern Ukraine, Kiev has pushed for deepening ties with the West.
A new government formed during the recent crisis declared NATO membership a goal for the first time since Kiev affirmed its non-aligned status in 2010. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
signed a decree in February, opening the first official NATO europe.newsweek.com/nato-chief-visits-ukraine-launch-joint-e. Only seven parliamentarians had voted www.eurointegration.com.ua/rus/news/2016/02/4/7044353/.
While NATO membership requires Ukraine to complete the reform programme its defense forces are currently undertaking, the fact that it does not have full control over its territory, with Russia in control of Crimea and pro-Russian troops holding parts of east Ukraine, may complicate membership.
“I am convinced that for Ukraine, at the time of Russian aggression, NATO membership is the strategic direction of our development,” Parubiy told parliamentarians at a meeting with NATO
officials. “There is no alternative to this direction,” he said, according to news site www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2016/06/14/7111709/.
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