Ukraine has no intention of reducing cooperation with NATO, the country’s deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday.
“We are interested in the maintenance of political dialogue with NATO,” Kostantyn Yeliseyev told a joint Ukraine-NATO working group on the country’s defense program and national security in Kiev.
“Ukraine will continue to fulfill obligations in its relations with NATO… We intend to continue wholesale inner reforms and appreciate NATO’s help in this direction,” he added.
Yeliseyev said bilateral ties would continue to develop along the principles outlined in the Charter on Ukrainian-NATO partnership.
NATO’s assistant secretary general for defense policy and planning said in an interview with a Ukrainian newspaper that the experience of the alliance’s partnership with Kiev was “unprecedented,” as the country maintains close ties with NATO yet expresses an unwillingness to join it.
“NATO will continue to provide help to Ukraine,” Jiri Sedivy said, adding that NATO respects Ukraine’s policy.
New Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has indicated that Ukraine will drop his predecessor’s plans to attempt to seek NATO membership, a proposal that infuriated Russia, but has also indicated that he will try to maintain good ties with both Moscow and the West.
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