Ohryzko Confirms Ukraine Determined To Join NATO

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko has said that Kiev wants to join the NATO's (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Membership Action Plan as soon as possible.

"I would like to stress our desire to join the NATO's Membership Action Plan as soon as possible," he said at a meeting with ambassadors accredited in Ukraine in Kiev on Friday.

Ukraine's possible neutral and non-NATO member status 'makes no sense' in a situation where other nations are forming a single global security zone, Ohryzko said.

"Ukraine is aware of the advantages of the common European architecture of collective security," he said.

At the same time he said that it would be early and premature at this stage to talk of Ukraine's possible accession to NATO. All necessary stages of annual NATO-Ukraine action plans must be completed first, he said.

"I am pleased to state that recently there has been more support from the Ukrainian public in favor of our EuroAtlantic course," Ohryzko said.

"We continue to develop a strategic partnership with the United States and a dialogue at the highest level. We must approach with pragmatism a number of complex bilateral issues," the minister said.

It is important to agree upon the road map of bilateral U.S.-Ukrainian relations, which must 'renew and strengthen' the political and economic dialogue between the countries, he said.

Ukraine is determined to strengthen strategic partnerships with Poland and Georgia, Ohryzko said.

With regards to EU-Ukraine relations, the signing of a new enhanced agreement is the priority, he said. "The new document must be long-term and innovative and reflect the new quality of our relations with the European Union," the minister said.

Ohryzko also pointed to the importance of forming a free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU, Ukraine's integration into European energy space, integration between Ukrainian and EU electrical grids and further creation of a single electricity market, combining both parties' efforts to increase security and stability in Europe.

Source: Interfax


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